Attacks in Nigeria's northeast border communities kill at least 15, hundreds flee homes

Villagers and police say that more than 15 people have died in attacks by militants in northeast Nigerian villages and hundreds have fled their homes for safety.

Borno state police spokesman Gideon Jibrin said at least seven people were shot dead and three others drowned while fleeing Thursday when gunmen believed to be Boko Haram attacked the fishing border community of Gashigar. Residents say such attacks have been frequent because of a lack of security.

Local government official Alhaji Talba Gashigar said the attack came four days after attackers set houses and shops ablaze at night in two neighboring villages, killing at least five people.

He called on the government to assist the local youth vigilante groups that are acting as security forces in the area against Boko Haram militants.