Gunmen believed to be from Boko Haram have opened fire in a remote town in northeast Nigeria, killing at least 15 people, witnesses and a security source have said.

The attack on Monday night targeted Kautikari, near the Cameroon border, just 10 kilometres from the village of Chibok, where more than 200 schoolgirls, who still remain captives, were abducted in April. 

"The were about twenty, well-armed. They came in four-wheel drive vehicles and some motorcycles. Initially, I thought they were soldiers," survivor Jonah Umaru told Reuters by telephone.

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped 172 women and children and killed 35 other people this month near the same area.

Violence by Boko Haram, which is fighting to establish a a larger Islamic state in Nigeria, has killed 10,340 people so far this year, according to a count by the Council on Foreign Relations last month.

The five-year insurgency has also displaced more than a million people from the remote northeast.

Underscoring the regional threat posed by the group, Cameroon's army has said it had killed at least 41 Boko Haram fighters as it fought off a wave of attacks along its border with Nigeria over the weekend.

Source: Reuters