The militants came in trucks mounted with heavy weapons, before killing, burning, and looting, state government spokesman Ahmad Abdurrahman Bundi was quoted by AFP news agency as saying.
The assailants “killed not less than 30 people who are mostly motorists and destroyed 18 vehicles,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
It also confirmed the abduction of women and children, but did not give a number.
Residents said most of the victims were travelling to the state capital, Maiduguri, but were forced to sleep in Auno, about 25km (16 miles) away, because the military had shut the road leading into the city.
The military has not yet commented.
Maiduguri was once the headquarters of Boko Haram, but government forces eventually drove the group out of the city.
It is unclear whether the assault was carried out by Boko Haram or a breakaway faction linked to the Islamic State (IS) group.
The attack in Auno is a reminder of the threat posed by militants, and the vulnerability of communities.
When President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015, he pledged to defeat the insurgents.
Although his troops have made significant progress in weakening the militants, the recent spate of attacks on both military and civilian targets threatens the initial gains.
Many Nigerians have therefore been calling for an overhaul of the security forces and the replacement of military chiefs.
They hope that new generals at the helm of the security forces will reinvigorate the fight against the militants and make sure that the decade-long insurgency does not get any worse.