“We have been informed that at least 19 people have died, most of whom were either burnt alive or drowned in the lake,” Elhadj Aboubacar, a deputy from the town of Bosso in southeastern Niger, said on Tuesday.
Aboubacar added that the drowned victims of the March 1 assault were mainly women and children, who sought to flee the violence onboard a dugout but it sank in the Lake Chad, where Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger and Chad share borders.
The lawmaker further noted that two people were also fatally shot. The Boko Haram militants fired on locals, pillaged shops and set homes on fire, before attacking two other islands.
Boko Haram is mainly based in northeastern Nigeria. The group has recently carried out deadly attacks in the neighboring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger, killing tens of people and leaving thousands homeless.
The Takfiri group, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.
It has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shooting attacks and bombings in various parts of Nigeria since the beginning of its operations in 2009, which have left at least 13,000 people dead so far.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 650,000 Nigerians have been forced from their homes by Boko Haram violence and are displaced inside the country, while thousands of others have taken refuge in neighboring countries.