ABUJA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Suspected Boko Haram fighters have killed at least 15 people and set many houses ablaze in an attack in Nigeria's northeastern Borno State, witnesses said on Thursday.
Many people are still missing following the attack on at least two villages in Konduga area of the state late Wednesday.
Some residents scampered for refuge in a nearby bush as the gunmen went on the rampage in Kofa and Abba Malumti villages.
One witness identified as Yahaya Danjuma said the religious leader of Kofa was among the 15 people killed during the attack.
"His (the religious leader's) house, too, was among many houses razed by the gunmen. We lost everything that we had, including livestock," Danjuma said in Hausa, a language spoken in the northern part of Nigeria and several African countries.
Danjuma told Xinhua that some villagers, including two of his nephews, were still missing following attack.
Another witness, who identified himself only as Danladi, said most residents were already in bed when they heard frequent gunshots.
"I left my two wives and five kids behind, as I ran toward the bush. Those who couldn't run to safety were killed," he said.
"From the bush, we heard the cries of women and children but we could not even help ourselves," Danladi said, describing the late Wednesday incident as "a night of horror."
Borno police spokesman Edet Okon did not immediately respond to Xinhua's phone calls and text messages.
Konduga, with a population of 13,400, is about 25 km southeast of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.
Boko Haram has been trying since 2009 to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria, in the process killing tens of thousands of people and displacing millions of others.
The group in the Lake Chad Basin has posed enormous security, humanitarian and governance challenges, according to the United Nations.
Four countries caught up in the insurgency are Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. The UN said Boko Haram has displaced nearly 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad sub-region.