People gather near the victims of an attack, during a mass burial at Zabarmari in Borno State, Nigeria, November 29 2020. Picture: REUTERS/AHMED KINGIMI
People gather near the victims of an attack, during a mass burial at Zabarmari in Borno State, Nigeria, November 29 2020. Picture: REUTERS/AHMED KINGIMI

Zabarmari  — Villagers in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Sunday buried 43 farmers killed in an attack by suspected Islamist militants while security forces searched for dozens still missing.

About 30 of the men were said to have been beheaded in the attack, which began on Saturday morning in the village of Zabarmari, while residents said up to 70 people may have been killed.

While there was no claim of responsibility, such massacres have been carried out in the past by Boko Haram or the Islamic State West Africa Province which are both active in the area, where Islamic militants have killed at least 30,000 people.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the killings and said “the entire country is hurt”.

One resident and Amnesty International said 10 women were among those missing.

UN humanitarian co-ordinator Edward Kallon said he was “outraged and horrified” by “the most violent direct attack” against civilians in 2020.

The UN estimated that at least 110 people were killed across the Jere local government area of Borno state.

Borno state governor Babagana Zulum, speaking at the burials, called on the federal government to recruit more soldiers, Civilian Joint Task Force members and civil defence fighters to protect farmers.

“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.

Food prices in Nigeria have risen dramatically over the past year, driven by flooding, border closures and insecurity in some food-producing areas.

Reuters 

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.