More than 2,000 people killed in Boko Haram attack in Nigerian villages

Boko Haram militants opened fire on northern Nigerian villages, leaving bodies scattered everywhere and as many as 2,000 people feared dead, officials said.
The attack on Baga and surrounding towns looks as if it could be Boko Haram’s deadliest act,” Amnesty International said in a statement. Islamist militants sprayed bullets as they stormed in last weekend in trucks and armored vehicles, local authorities said Friday.
When they arrived, they unloaded motorcycles and pursued residents who fled into the bush, firing indiscriminately, said Baba Abba Hassan, a local district head.
Local officials reported death tolls ranging from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people. Dead bodies litter the bushes in the area and it is still no‎t safe to go and pick them (up) for burial,” said Musa Bukar, the chairman of the local government where Baga is located.
During the raid that started January 3, hundreds of gunmen seized the town of Baga and neighboring villages, as well as a multinational military base. Attacks started at dawn and continued throughout last weekend, according to residents.
Though local officials gave conflicting death tolls, they agreed on the massive number of fatalities. More than 2,000 people were killed in attacks on 16 villages, Bukar said. He could not explain how he arrived at that toll.
But the local district head said hundreds of people had been killed, not thousands. The actual toll will be known after a headcount of households is complete, Hassan said.
An offensive is underway to reclaim the areas from the militants, according to Mike Omeri, a government spokesman.