A UN official based in Nigeria on Sunday condemned a gruesome attack against civilians carried out by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state.

Some 43 rice farmers who were killed on Saturday by militants in the Jere area of Borno were buried on Sunday.

In a statement made available to Xinhua in Lagos on Sunday, Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said several women may have been kidnapped during the attack, called for their immediate release and return to safety.

“I extend my sincere condolences to the families of the civilians who lost their lives in this atrocious attack. I also wish a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the incident,” he added.

Kallon stressed that such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability of the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing.

According to him, the entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno is outraged by the incident.

“I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” the UN official added.

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