Details are still unclear—not least because militants have destroyed mobile phone towers in the region—but Boko Haram may have carried out its worst atrocity yet. Officials in Nigeria say up to 500 people may have been killed when the Islamic extremists raided villages near the Cameroon border, CNN reports. The militants claimed to be soldiers there to protect villagers and they asked them to assemble before they opened fire, killing every man and boy they could find, officials say.
"The death is unimaginable. We have lost between 400 and 500 people in the attacks in which men and male children were not spared," a local leader says. "Even nursing mothers had their male infants snatched from their backs and shot dead before their eyes." A lawmaker who represents the region says that military jets have hit Boko Haram positions in the area, but there is no military presence on the ground and the militants are continuing to kill unchecked, the New York Times reports. The militants are still believed to be holding hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls, though there have been reports that at least four of them escaped recently.