Militants believed to be with Boko Haram killed at least 33 people in three separate attacks in northeastern Nigeria, a lawmaker, residents and civilian vigilantes who oppose the Islamist terror group said Wednesday.
All the attacks took place in Borno state, which has been among the areas most targeted in recent years by Boko Haram.
The deadliest happened around 5 p.m. (noon ET) Tuesday, when gunmen barricaded a highway linking Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, and Damaturu, the capital of neighboring Yobe state, and killed more than 20 motorists, federal lawmaker Mohammed Sanda said.
These attackers -- who Sanda said were Boko Haram militants -- then stormed the village of Ngamdu, setting homes on fire and spurring residents to flee, said the lawmaker said.
Boko Haram gunmen also ambushed and killed eight people traveling on a lorry, or large truck, from Maiduguri to the town of Baga, which is on the shore of Lake Chad, local vigilantes said.
Those on the vehicle had fled Baga due to the militant group's bloody advance and were heading home after Nigeria's military reclaimed their hometown. They were about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) away when gunmen attacked around 4 p.m. Tuesday, shot the eight passengers in the head, then fled into the nearby bush, according to the vigilantes.
And in Damasak -- a town taken by Boko Haram last November that's just a few miles away from Niger -- dozens of militants burned structures and killed at least five people, residents said. This attack came shortly after Chadian troops, which had warned people to evacuate, pulled out of Damasak.