Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has described as a “heinous atrocity” the latest wave of attacks by Boko Haram militants that left more than 150 people dead.
Buhari also called for a faster deployment of a regional military force to fight the Islamists.
The gunmen have been launching attacks on remote villages in the north-eastern Borno state since Tuesday, targeting people attending evening prayers.
Buhari, who was sworn in in May sees fighting Boko Haram as a priority. According to Amnesty International, at least 17,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 2009, when Boko Haram launched its violent uprising to try to impose militant Islamist rule.
These are the worst Boko Haram attacks for many weeks, BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross reports.
In a statement on Friday, President Buhari said the recent attacks were “inhuman and barbaric.”
He said they were “the last desperate acts of fleeing agents of terrorism”.