Death toll of farmers killed in NE Nigeria rises to 110
Abuja [Nigeria], November 30 The death toll from an attack on farmers in a village in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno has risen to 110, with many wounded, a United Nations official said on Sunday.
Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, condemned the incident, in which several women were also kidnapped by the terror group Boko Haram suspected of being responsible for the attack on Saturday.
Nigerian authorities earlier on Sunday confirmed more than 40 farmers were killed after Boko Haram militants launched the attack at Koshebe village in the Mafa local government area of the state while working on their farmlands.
“I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri,” Kallon said in the statement made available to Xinhua. “At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”
The UN official said such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability of the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing, and which we the UN is striving to alleviate.
“The entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State is outraged by the incident,” Kallon said further.
Although the victims lived in Zabarmari, a farming community in the Jere local government area of Borno, they were attacked at Koshebe village.
The attack happened after some farmers harvesting their products apprehended a Boko Haram militant who approached them with a request for food, witnesses said.
A mass funeral was conducted early Sunday for the victims of the attack, attended by state governor Babagana Umara Zulum, other local officials, and families of the deceased.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday condemned the attack in a statement, describing it as “insane”.
He said the government had given all the needed support to the armed forces “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.”
Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria since 2009, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin.