The militants razed part of the village, including a church, and burnt 10 vehicles in the three-hour-long attack in Piyemi village, near Chibok where Boko Haram militants abducted more than 200 schoolgirls eight years ago, residents say.

Nigeria has struggled with a string of abduction-for-ransom attacks on schools by criminal gangs over the last year in its northwestern states.
Nigeria has struggled with a string of abduction-for-ransom attacks on schools by criminal gangs over the last year in its northwestern states. (AFP)

Militants have killed two people and kidnapped 20 children in Nigeria's Borno state.

Daesh-affiliated ISWAP militants dressed in military uniforms started shooting and looting shops in the Piyemi village and setting homes on fire on Thursday, the residents and the community leader said on Friday.

"They shot dead two people and took away 13 girls and seven boys aged between 12 and 15," local resident Samson Bulus said.

The militants who attacked from nearby Sambisa forest herded "the 20 kidnapped children into a truck they seized from the village and drove them into the forest", said another resident Silas John.

The militants razed part of the village, including a church, and burnt 10 vehicles in the three-hour long attack, John said.

A local Chibok government official confirmed the attack without giving details.

A community leader also gave similar details about the assault and the abducted children.

READ MORE: Gunmen kill dozens in Nigeria's Kebbi state

Schools targeted

Thursday's kidnapping came as Nigeria has been struggling with a string of abduction-for-ransom attacks on schools by criminal gangs over the last year in its northwestern states.

Around 1,500 schoolchildren were seized last year in 20 mass kidnappings in schools across the region, with 16 students losing their lives, according to the UN children welfare agency UNICEF.

Most of the hostages were released after negotiations with the criminal gangs known locally as bandits, but some are still in captivity in forest hideouts.

Troops have been stationed in Chibok since the infamous 2014 schoolgirl abduction but deadly raids continue in the area, with the militants launching attacks from their nearby forest enclaves.

More than 40,000 people have been killed and more than two million people displaced by the violence in the northeast of Nigeria.

READ MORE: Bandit attacks leave hundreds dead in Nigeria this week

READ MORE: With the death of the Boko Haram leader, what's next for Nigeria?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies