Nigeria: 43 agricultural workers slaughtered in Koshobe paddy field

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Alleged Boko Haram ultras have slaughtered 43 farm workers in the village of Koshobe in Nigeria on Saturday.

In Nigeria, alleged Boko Haram ultras have slaughtered 43 farm workers in the village of Koshobe on Saturday. According to several local sources, the attackers have killed dozens of people working in rice fields in northeastern Nigeria.

The assailants tied up the agricultural workers and slit their throats in Koshobe village, near Maiduguri, the capital of Borno.

“We have recovered 43 dead bodies, all of them slaughtered, along with six others with serious injuries,” Babakura Kolo, a leader of a local militia fighting armed groups in the region, told AFP news agency.

Reuters news agency, citing a village leader, a local fighter with the Zamarmari group and a police source, also reported the attack, putting the death toll to at least 40 people.

Authorities have launched a search operation for the attackers, it added.

Boko Haram militia behind killing: Villager

Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) are both active in northeast Nigeria. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, which has displaced about two million since 2009.

“It is no doubt the work of Boko Haram which operates in the area and frequently attack farmers,” Kolo, who helped the survivors, said of Saturday’s attack.

The victims were labourers from Sokoto state in northwest Nigeria, roughly 1,000km (600 miles) away. They had travelled to the northeast to find work, said another militiaman, Ibrahim Liman, who gave the same toll.

“There were 60 farmers who were contracted to harvest paddy in the rice fields. Forty-three were slaughtered, with six injured,” Liman told AFP.

Eight others were missing, presumed to have been kidnapped by the attackers, he said.

The bodies were taken to nearby Zabarmari village, where they would be kept ahead of burial on Sunday, according to resident Mala Bunu who took part in the search and rescue operation.

Last month, Boko Haram fighters killed 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents.

Boko Haram and ISWAP have increasingly targeted loggers, herders and fishermen in their violent campaign. They accuse them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them.

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