from AHMED OBAFEMI in Maiduguri, Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, (CAJ News) – THE killing of at least 110 rural farmers by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria is the most violent direct attack against civilians this year.
Several women might have been kidnapped following an attack by the Islamists as the civilians were harvesting their rice fields in the Jere region of the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, on Saturday.
An indefinite number of others were injured during the gruesome attack perpetrated mostly in the village of Koshobe by armed men on motorcycles.
“I strongly condemn this attack and any act of violence against innocent civilians,” Edward Kallon, resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said.
“It is unfortunately one of too many such attacks targeting farmers, fishermen and families who are trying to recover some livelihood opportunity after over a decade of conflict.”
Over 30 000 people have been killed since the Boko Haram began its violent campaign to establish an Islamic state in northeastern Nigeria.
Borno, the second biggest state by land size in the West African country, is the epicentre of the insurgency.
Babagana Umara Zulum, the state governor expressed his condolences to families affected by the attack as he attended a burial of more than 40 of the victims in Zabarmari.
The premier said locals were in a dilemma amid the Boko Haram threat.
“In one side they may be killed by hunger and starvation if they stay at home. On the other, they risk getting killed by the insurgents when they go out to their farmlands,” Zulum said.
– CAJ News