At least 50 people were killed when suspected Islamist insurgents attacked a village in north-eastern Nigeria, the News Agency of Nigeria reported on Sunday.

The attack took place on Saturday night in Dalori village, about 6 kilometres from the city of Maiduguri, while people were entering mosques for evening prayers, a resident of the village told dpa.

"Many people including children and the elderly who could not escape the attack were either shot dead or burnt alive by the attackers, who came in large numbers," said Aliyu Usman, who is taking refuge in Maiduguri.

He estimated that at least 40 people had died and said many more were injured.

A relief worker, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said "several corpses were deposited at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and the specialist hospital."

Military spokesman Mustapha Anka said the attackers shot sporadically and burned "many buildings". 

Hauwa Ba’na, a local student living in a housing state near the scene of the attacks, told dpa that the attack started around 7:30 pm local time (1830 GMT) and reported hearing loud explosions and gunshots.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which lasted around three hours, the insurgent group Boko Haram are the chief suspects.

The government and military are yet to release a statement on the number of fatalities.

Suicide bombers have frequently targeted parts of north-eastern Nigeria, with eight people killed in a bomb attack at a busy market place in Gombi on Friday, and nine people killed in a similar attack in Chibok on Wednesday.

Chibok made world headlines in 2014, when members of Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls from a state secondary school. The girls have not been seen since.

Boko Haram has killed thousands in West Africa since 2009 in its quest to establish a state with a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

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