Nigeria: 35 killed and nearly 200 kidnapped in latest Boko Haram attack

At least 35 people were murdered in an attack on a village in north-eastern Nigeria on Sunday, and almost 200 were taken away in open-topped trucks it has emerged.

Sunday's attack is the latest in a wave by suspected Boko Haram militants. A bombing outside Kano's Central Mosque on 28 November killed at least 130.Reuters

Backed up by a local official, a witness told the BBC that militants, likely from insurgent group Boko Haram, attacked the village of Gumsuri and abducted at least 185 women and children - double the original estimate.

"After killing our youths, the insurgents have taken away our wives and daughters," Mukhtar Buba, who fled the village, told AFP.

Resident Abba Musa said that militants yelled "God is Great!" as they gunned down villagers.

"My sister and her seven children were among those taken away," he told Reuters news agency. "We ran into the bush and were lucky. There were not many others who were lucky."

A spokesperson said that the Nigerian government is "outraged and deeply saddened by this deplorable act".

"Boko Haram continues to choose, ever cowardly, to target civilian populations to spread their brand of terror," Mike Omeri said in a statement.

Those who managed to escape have only just reached Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, which lies just over 40 miles north of Gumsuri. The village itself is just 15 miles from Chibok, where over 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram in April. Many of them remain in captivity, likely having been sold into sex slavery.

Though no group has yet taken responsibility for Sunday's violence, it is thought to be the latest in a string of attacks by Boko Haram militants, who have wreaked havoc across northern Nigeria since their uprising in 2009. Estimates suggest that the group is responsible for over 5,000 deaths between July 2009 and June 2014.

Armed insurgents also attacked the town of Amchide on Wednesday, which is on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. They set fire to houses and shops, as well as desecrating the local market, according to AFP.

The Nigerian government has faced criticism for its failure to curb the violence of Boko Haram. President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Muslim-majority Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in May 2013 and has authorised an increased military presence to combat extremism.

On Wednesday, 54 soldiers in the Nigerian Army were sentenced to death for refusing to help recapture towns that had been seized by Boko Haram, and will now face a firing squad.

The soldiers contend that they are not sufficiently equipped to take on the insurgents. Another five were acquitted and discharged in the secret trial, lawyer Femi Falana said.

They were the first batch of 97 soldiers being court martialled for offences including mutiny, assault, absconding, house breaking and disorderly behaviour.

Low morale, partly linked to a dearth of adequate equipment and weapons in the face of a determined Islamist insurgency, has led to a series of desertions in the northeast and at least one mutiny.

Troops have also been repeatedly accused by human rights groups of abuses including killing civilians and torching their homes, charges the leadership usually denies.

(Additional reporting by Reuters)