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Nigeria: “insane” attack leaves dozens of farmers dead | The State

The funeral of the 43 people in Nigeria.

AUDU MARTE / AFP / Getty Images

At least 43 people were killed in an attack in northeastern Nigeria that its president described as “insane.”

The attackers tied up and cut the throats of the victims, most of them farm workers from the rice fields near Maiduguri, the capital of the state of Borno.

This is one of the worst attacks in recent months in a region where insurgent groups from Boko haram and the Islamic State of West Africa are still active.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the crime.

“I condemn the murder of our peasant workers by terrorists in the state of Borno. The whole country is hurt by these senseless murders. My thoughts are with their families in this time of pain. May their souls rest in peace, ”said President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president also described the killings as “terrorist” and “insane,” according to his spokesman Garba Shehu.

A farmer's funeral in Nigeria
Many of the victims were beheaded, according to the first reports. EPA

“We have recovered 43 bodies, all of them massacred, along with another six with serious injuries,” a militiaman who helped the survivors told AFP.

According to various reports, more bodies were later found, but the total number of victims was not immediately known. Some 15 women are also believed to have been abducted.

The victims were workers from Sokoto state in northwestern Nigeria who had traveled northeast to find work, another militiaman told AFP.

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum attended the funerals of the victims on Sunday.

“It is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were massacred while working on their farmland,” he told reporters.

“Our people are in very difficult situations, they are in two different extreme conditions: on the one hand, if they stay home, they may starve; for the other, they go out on their farmland and risk being killedsby the insurgents. This is very sad”.

A burial of farmers in Nigeria
The Islamist group Boko Haram is suspected of being behind the massacre. EPA

In statements to the newspaper Premium Times, a member of the local parliament, Ahmed Satomi, explained that the farmers “were attacked because on Friday they had disarmed and arrested a Boko Haram militant that he had been torturing them ”.

Press correspondents say farmers have previously been attacked by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram, suspecting that they are passing on information to the army.

A burial of farmers in Nigeria
Dozens of people gathered to say goodbye to the victims in Zabarmari, in Borno state. EPA

Last month, Boko Haram fighters killed 22 farmers working in irrigated fields in two different incidents.

Despite regional efforts to end the militia campaign of violence, the group has intensified its attacks in recent months.

The Nigerian military has been unable to quell the insurgency affecting the region, in which tens of thousands have been killed or kidnapped in the past.

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