Alleged extremists are killing at least 40 farmers in Nigeria


MAIDGURI, Nigeria (AP) – Alleged members of the Islamic armed group Boko Haram killed at least 40 rice producers and fishermen while harvesting crops in the northern state of Borno, Nigeria, officials said.

The attack took place on Saturday in the rice field of the wine-growing community in Borno, Garin Kwashebe, the day the state’s residents cast their first vote in 13 years to elect a municipal council, although many did not go to the polls.

Allegedly, the armed insurgents gathered the farmers and killed them briefly.

Malam Zabarmari, head of the Borno State Rice Association, confirmed the massacre to the Associated Press.

“Farmers have been attacked at the Garin-Kwashebe rice farm in the Zabarmar community and, according to reports we have received since the afternoon, about 40 have died,” he said, adding that the number of deaths is likely to be as high as 60.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed grief over the killings.

“I condemn the killing of our hard-working farmers by terrorists in the state of Borno. The whole country is hurt by these senseless murders. My thoughts are with their family in this time of grief. Let their souls be at peace! “- He told.

According to Buhari, the government has given all the necessary support to the armed forces “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and territory”.

Ahmed Satomi, a member of the House of Representatives who represents the Borno Jere federal constituency, said at least 44 funerals took place on Sunday.

– Farmers and fishermen were killed in cold blood. More than 60 farmers are affected, but so far we have only received 44 corpses from the farms, and today, Sunday, by the grace of God, we are preparing for their burial, ”the federal legislature said.

Both Boko Haram and the breakaway faction, the Islamic State of West Africa, are active in the region. The Boko Haram uprising of more than a decade has forced thousands of the dead and tens of thousands into their homes. Officials say members of the Boko Haram often force villagers to pay illegal taxes by taking their animals or crops. But some villagers began to resist blackmail.

Satomi said garin kwashebei farmers were attacked for disarming and arresting a Boko Haram gunman who tortured them on Friday.

“A lone gunman who was a member of Boko Haram came to harass the farmers by ordering them to give him money and cook for him. While he waited for the food to be prepared, the farmers captured the moment he entered the toilet to catch his rifle and tied it up. “- He told.

– He was later handed over to the security guard. But unfortunately the security forces did not protect the brave owner. And Boko Haram retaliated because he dared to immerse them, mobilized and attacked them on their farms.

The insurgents also set fire to the rice farms before they left, he said.

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APuj journalist Bashir Adigun in Abuja contributed to this report.