Suspected extremists kill 11 farmers in Nigeria

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Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed 11 farmers in northeast Nigeria, the latest attacks in the conflict-wracked region, local militias told AFP on Friday.

The attackers stormed farms on motorcycles in Kuwayangiya, a village 15 kilometers from Borno state capital Maiduguri, seizing 11 of them and slitting their throats, three anti-extremism militia members said.

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“The insurgents rounded up 11 farmers working on their fields, bound their hands behind their back and cut their throats,” militia leader Babakura Kulo said.

The attackers chose not to use guns, hoping to avoid alerting soldiers and militia from nearby Molai village, said militia leader Umar Ari.

“All the 11 farmers were slaughtered and their bodies abandoned on the farms by the Boko Haram terrorists,” Ari said.

All the victims were from neighboring Dalwa village where for months, hundreds of people have been returning after fleeing to Maiduguri to escape incessant extremist attacks, said Ibrahim Liman, from another militia, who gave the same death toll.

Since 2018 Borno state government has been returning people who fled their homes to escape the extremist violence despite concern from international aid agencies about the risk of terrorist attacks.

Boko Haram and rival factions have increasingly targeted loggers, herders, farmers, fishermen and metal scrap collectors in their violent campaign, accusing them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them.

Last month seven farmers and loggers were killed while 22 others were kidnapped in two separate attacks in Borno state’s Banki district near the border with Cameroon.

At least 40,000 people have been killed and around two million displaced in the 14-year extremist conflict which has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the militants.

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