A Boko Haram flag flutters from an abandoned command post in Gamboru deserted after Chadian troops chased them from the border town on February 4, 2015. Nigerian Boko Haram fighters went on the rampage in the Cameroonian border town of Fotokol, massacring dozens of civilians and torching a mosque before being repelled by regional forces. AFP PHOTO/STEPHANE YAS        (Photo credit should read STEPHANE YAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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A Boko Haram flag flutters from an abandoned command post in Gamboru deserted after Chadian troops chased them from the border town on February 4, 2015. Nigerian Boko Haram fighters went on the rampage in the Cameroonian border town of Fotokol, massacring dozens of civilians and torching a mosque before being repelled by regional forces. AFP PHOTO/STEPHANE YAS (Photo credit should read STEPHANE YAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Boko Haram released a new video on claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed. A total of 276 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing. AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / BOKO HARAM" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTSHO/AFP/Getty Images
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Story highlights

Two Nigerians who fight in anti-Boko Haram vigilante groups say the attacks were against two remote villages

Boko Haram militants also reportedly kidnapped women and children

(CNN) —  

Boko Haram militants killed at least 30 people during attacks on two villages over two days in northeast Nigeria, local vigilante fighters and a local official told CNN on Saturday.

The vicious attacks saw the raiders looting food supplies, carting away herds, and kidnapping women and children.

Gunmen in pickups and on bicycles stormed the remote villages of Yakshari and Kachifa in Damboa district, slaughtering villagers, said Musa Suleiman, a member of a local ad hoc group fighting Boko Haram alongside Nigeria’s military.

“The attackers slaughtered 30 people Yakshari and Kachifa villages in Damboa local government area in two separate attacks on Friday night and Saturday morning,” Suleiman said.

His account was supported by his comrade, Awana Ari.

The gunmen attacked the farming village of Yakshari around 9:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. ET) on Saturday, slaughtering 22 residents and taking away food supplies and cattle, said Suleiman, who is from the town of Biu, 120 kilometers (75 miles) away.

“The Boko Haram gunmen killed 22 people in Yakshari by slitting their throats. They then stole all the food supplies and all the cattle in the village,” he said.

The day before, the Islamist militants raided nearby Kachifa village, killing villagers and taking property, Ari said.

“On Friday around 10 p.m., Boko Haram gunmen raided Kachifa were they slaughtered eight residents and looted grains barns and herded their cattle into the bush,” Suleiman said.

The vigilantes believed the attacks were carried out by the same marauders.

A local official confirmed the attacks, adding that an unspecified number of women and children were taken captive in the attacks.

“We received reports on the attack on the two villages where the attackers killed, looted, and kidnapped women and children,” a Damboa local government official told CNN from Maiduguri.

“We are still working to determine how many women and children were kidnapped,” said the official, who didn’t want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the attacks.

News of the attacks was slow to emerge due to poor communication in the area following destruction of telecommunication towers by Boko Haram militants in previous raids.

Vigilantes in Biu received reports of the attacks late Saturday when their colleagues drove 86 kilometers (54 miles) from Damboa to break the news to them.

Nigerian troops retook the town of Damboa in August 2014 after it was briefly seized by Boko Haram the previous month.

Despite huge troop deployments in Damboa and other towns reclaimed from Boko Haram, the Islamists militants still carry out sporadic attacks on remote villages with no military protection, according to residents and vigilantes.

Escalating attacks

The militant group has attacked the nation’s north for years.

Its aim is to impose a stricter enforcement of Sharia law across Africa’s most populous nation, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.

As the world remains transfixed on Syria-based ISIS, which has involved Western nations in anti-ISIS efforts, Boko Haram’s attacks have escalated.

Boko Haram has bombed schools, churches and mosques; kidnapped women and children; and assassinated politicians and religious leaders alike.

Last year, Boko Haram claimed the morbid title of deadliest terror group for its killings in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon.

The extremist group based in northern Nigeria killed 6,644 people in 2014, an increase of more than 300% from the previous year, according to the latest tally from the Global Terrorism Index.

Boko Haram killed more people than ISIS, which it reportedly pledged allegiance to last year, the tally says.

CNN’s Faith Karimi and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.