An attack allegedly carried out by jihadists linked to the Islamic State group killed 17 people in a northeastern Nigerian village whose residents refused to pay them a tax, a paramilitary group and a local resident told AFP on Tuesday.

Members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISW) terrorist group raided the isolated village of Kayaya in Yobe state, some 150 kilometers from Damaturu, the state capital, the sources said.

“The terrorists attacked the village at around 20:00 (local time; 21:00 Greek time) with explosives and weapons,” said Grema Boukar, a member of a paramilitary group.

“They then opened fire on residents who were trying to escape. They killed 17 people and injured five others,” added Mr Boukar.

The attack was carried out in retaliation for the villagers’ refusal to pay the jihadists a tax they demand for each animal, said Abubakar Adamu, another member of the same paramilitary group, who gave the same account.

In isolated areas of Nigeria, jihadist and paramilitary groups often demand “taxes” from communities to consolidate their control and secure funds.

In the past two years, jihadists have carried out attacks outside their historic strongholds in the northeastern part of Borno state.

Yobe state, which neighbors Borno, is paying a heavy price, suffering frequent deadly attacks on villages, military bases, schools and markets, as well as mass kidnappings.

The action of jihadist groups and operations by security forces to suppress them since 2009 in Nigeria have claimed the lives of at least 40,000 people and forcibly displaced another two million residents in the northeast of Africa’s most populous country.