An attack by Boko Haram Islamist insurgents on rice farmers in Nigeria’s northeast left at least 110 of them dead, a United Nations official said.
“I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians,” Edward Kallon, the U.N. resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria said in an emailed statement. “At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”
Babagana Zulum, governor of the Borno state, where the attack occurred, said 43 victims were buried Sunday at the Koshobe village in the Jere district. Insurgents ambushed farmers who were bringing in their rice harvest Saturday.
“I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists,” President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement released by his official spokesman. “The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings.”
Boko Haram militants have waged a campaign of violence since 2009 to impose their version of Islamic law on Africa’s most populous country of more than 200 million people. The government estimates that more than 30,000 people have died in the conflict.
At the burial of the 43 victims on Sunday, residents of the affected community told Governor Zulum they expected the death toll to rise, as many people were still missing.
“Our people are in a very difficult situation,” Zulum told reporters. “If they stay at home they may be killed by hunger. They go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents.”
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