Villagers in northeast Nigeria are saying that Nigerian soldiers shot and killed a teacher and two middle-aged men who had been detained. The account comes amid accusations that many other people arrested by the military and vigilantes on suspicion of being Boko Haram fighters have disappeared and are feared dead.

Human rights groups accuse Nigeria's military of killing thousands of civilians in the fight against the Islamic extremists. The military has denied the allegations.

Villagers from Duhu told The Associated Press on Friday that women protested at a military base after soldiers on Wednesday arrested teacher Habu Bello and two other men, Idrisa Dele and Umaru Hammankadi. They later found the men's bodies dumped, with bullet wounds. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from soldiers.