Boko Haram gunmen killed at least 110 people in an attack on the Nigerian village of Koshobe on Saturday, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The massacre was considered retribution by the extremist group after farmers captured a member as a signal to Boko Haram for stealing their crops and money, the Post reported. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, though government officials have identified Boko Haram as being behind it.
“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said.
Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) November 30, 2020
Members of Boko Haram tied up the victims before slitting their throats and setting fire to the farmland, local officials said, the Post reported. Several women were kidnapped during the attack, and most of the victims were migrant workers from northeast Nigeria.
“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly,” Buhari said.
The victims did not have approval from the government to return to the village, Buhari’s office said, the Post reported. (RELATED: Islamic Militants Slaughter At Least 81 Men, Women, Children In Nigerian Village Attack)
“Much of those areas have been liberated from Boko Haram, but there are a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers that have been displaced,” Spokesperson Garba Shehu said, the BBC reported.
Borno Governor Babagana Zulum said that if the victims were to “stay at home, they may be killed by hunger,” The Post reported. “If they go out to their farmlands, they risk getting killed by insurgents.”
A gunman reportedly harassed farmers the day before the attack, demanding that they cook for him, The Post reported. A group of farmers tied up the gunman and called security forces.
“Boko Haram came back to retaliate,” Zulum said, The Post reported. “They slit the farmers’ throats one by one.”
Over 30,000 people have reportedly been killed by Boko Haram since 2009, according to the Post. Buhari said the extremist group was “technically defeated” in 2015, though violence related to Boko Haram continued.
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