UN condemns gruesome attack killing at least 110 farmers in NE Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram militants

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FILE PHOTO: Members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) inspect a street in a neighbourhood of the northeastern Nigeria city of Maiduguri after an attack. (Photo credit AUDU ALI MARTE/AFP via Getty Images)

The death toll from an attack on farmers in a village in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno has risen to 110, with many others wounded.

Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria condemned the incident on Sunday, in which several women were also kidnapped by the terror group Boko Haram suspected of being responsible for the attack on Saturday.

“I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri,” Kallon said in the statement made available to Xinhua. “At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”

The UN official said such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability of the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing.

“The entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State is outraged by the incident,” Kallon said.

Nigerian authorities earlier on Sunday confirmed Boko Haram militants launched the attack at the Koshebe village in the Mafa local government area of the state when the farmers were working on their lands.

The attack happened after some farmers harvesting their products apprehended a Boko Haram militant who approached them with a request for food, witnesses said.

A mass funeral was conducted early Sunday for the victims of the attack, attended by state governor Babagana Umara Zulum, other local officials, and families of the deceased.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday condemned the attack in a statement, describing it as “insane”. He said the government had given all the needed support to the armed forces “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.”

Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria since 2009, extending its attacks to countries in the Lake Chad Basin.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday also condemned the deadly attack. The secretary-general extended his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and to the people of Nigeria, wished a swift recovery to the injured, and called for immediate and safe returns of the abductees and those still reported missing.

The Secretary-General hoped those responsible for these heinous crimes will be quickly brought to justice.

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