Members of the Boko Haram terrorist group on Friday attacked Damboa, Borno State, and killed 21 people.
The town was attacked over two weeks ago with many people, including members of the violent group, military and security personnel killed.
The attack has since left the town and about 50 other communities in the troubled state susceptible to terrorist attacks.
Attempts by the military to return to the town about a week ago were rebuffed by the insurgents who laid ambush to the town. This left the soldiers who were lucky to escape being killed to return to Maiduguri, the state capital.
But the insurgents again hit Damboa on Friday and killed many residents.
The attackers were said to have had a field day as there was no security team to repel them.
A member of the youth vigilance group, Abbas Gava, told journalists in Maiduguri that the insurgents crept upon the villagers at about 5am and began the massacre.
He said only a handful of youth vigilance group known as Civilian-JTF was available in Damboa to protect the people as the military and security personnel who deserted the town in the last major attack had yet to return.
He said the number of victims might go up as members of Civilian-JTF were still searching for more bodies as of the time this report.
A senior security official, who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed the attack.