Maiduguri, Nigeria -

Witnesses say Boko Haram militants dressed as soldiers slaughtered at least 200 civilians in three communities in north-eastern Nigeria and that the military failed to intervene.

A community leader who witnessed the killings on Monday said residents of the Gwoza local government district in Borno state had pleaded for the military to send soldiers to protect the area after they heard that militants were about to attack, but help didn't arrive.

Mohammed Ali Ndume, a senator representing Borno and whose hometown is Gwoza, confirmed the incident. The incident was also confirmed by a top security official in Maiduguri, Borno's state capital, who didn't want to be named because he isn't allowed to speak to the media.

Boko Haram wants to establish Islamic state in Nigeria. - Sapa-AP