The number of farm workers killed on a rice farm in northeastern Nigeria on Saturday has shot to at least 110 people, according to a United Nations report.
The massacre is the deadliest attacks in the region suspected to have been carried out by Boko Haram, locals said. The victims were buried on Sunday.
“We shall ensure more recruitment of Civilian JTF and more Hunters so that our people will take the fight to all the nooks and crannies of this area”, said Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum.
Earlier, a militia leader Babakura Kolo, who helped the survivors told AFP that ‘’we have recovered 43 dead bodies, all of them slaughtered, along with six others with serious injuries.’’ He added that “it is no doubt the handiwork of Boko Haram who operate in the area and frequently attack farmers.”
The victims were laborers from Sokoto state in northwestern Nigeria, roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away. They had travelled to the northeast to find work, another militiaman Ibrahim Liman who gave the same toll said, adding that 8 others were missing, presumed to have been kidnapped by the jihadists.
The UN report did not mention Boko Haram as perpetrators. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the attack. He said “the entire country has been wounded by these senseless killings.”
In September, Boko Haram militants slaughtered 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents.
The nefarious group and ISWAP, its IS-linked rival, have increasingly targeted loggers, herders and fishermen in their violent campaign. They accused them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them.
At least 36,000 people have been killed in the jihadist conflict, which has displaced around two million since 2009. The violence has also spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the militants.