UN office retracts casualty figure on killing of farmers in NE Nigeria

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Boko Haram
Boko Haram

A UN office has retracted its initial casualty figure of farmers reportedly killed by Boko Haram in a Nigerian village.

In a statement sent to Xinhua on Monday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Nigeria revised its earlier report, saying the 110 casualty figure in the village in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno was “an unconfirmed number.”

“The correct version … is the one published yesterday (Sunday) on Reliefweb and used on OCHA Nigeria’s Twitter account,” said Eve Sabbagh, head of public information in OCHA Nigeria.

Suspected members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram reportedly killed at least 40 rice farmers in Nigeria as they were harvesting crops in the state of Borno, State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum said on Sunday.

A statement released by OCHA Nigeria on Sunday quoted Edward Kallon, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, as saying that “at least 110 people” were killed in the attack.

Later on the same day OCHA Nigeria published another statement, replacing the figure with “tens of civilians.”

Military spokesperson John Enenche in a statement reaching Xinhua on Tuesday confirmed the total death of farmers at more than 40.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday condemned the attack as “insane,” saying that 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.

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