May 30, 2023

Tumbler Ridge News

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Nigeria: 7 killed and 22 kidnapped by suspected jihadists

Seven people were killed and 22 kidnapped in two separate attacks by suspected jihadists in northeastern Nigeria, security sources and residents said on Saturday.

Three farmers were killed on Thursday and 11 suspected jihadists from the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswab) group were kidnapped near Bulayobe village outside the town of Banki in Borno state.

The victims moved from Banki town to clean the fields before planting.

“Eight armed men from Izwab came on four motorcycles. 14 farmers were rounded up and taken away. The bodies of three of them, with bullet holes, were later found,” said Usman Hamza, a leader of militias fighting alongside the army against the Islamists.

Kabir Abdu, a resident of Banki, gave a similar version of events, saying that his friend had been killed and his brother had gone missing.

On Monday, 15 loggers went missing outside the town of Gamboru, in an area where Boko Haram jihadists are most active.

The next day, four bodies were found in the bush, said Omar Kachalla, a member of the anti-jihadist militia in Gamboru. He did not know where the others in the group were, but suspected Boko Haram was holding them.

Idris Halilu, a resident of Gamboru, gave a similar version of events.

Iswab and Boko Haram jihadists often target people who go out to cut wood or collect scrap metal, herders, farmers and fishermen whom they accuse of spying on behalf of government forces.

More than 14 years after the Islamist insurgency began, the latest attacks underscore the dangers civilians face in rural northeast Nigeria.

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However, local authorities have closed several camps for displaced people and sent people home, telling them to resume their farming activities and return to normal life.

Insecurity is a major concern in Africa’s most populous country.