Survivors reported that at least 19 people were killed although some eyewitnesses have put the death toll at 63.
The militants were reportedly spotted near the village of Mailari three days before the attack. Local residents reportedly warned Nigerian troops deployed in the nearby town of Gudumbali, however, no measures were taken, according to reports.
Nigeria is suffering from numerous internal conflicts and activities of militant groups, most prominently at the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency. The situation remains extremely volatile with regular terror attacks and clashes between the Islamists and government forces.
Some northeastern provinces of the country have recently faced an upsurge in deadly attacks by militants, force many to flee the area.