Latest reports say suspected Boko Haram extremists ambushed and slaughtered 48 fish vendors near Nigeria’s border with Chad, the head of their association said, the latest violence to hit the country’s volatile northeast.
“Scores of Boko Haram fighters blocked a route linking Nigeria with Chad near the fishing village of Doron Baga on the shores of Lake Chad on Thursday and killed a group of 48 fish traders? on their way to Chad to buy fish,” Abubakar Gamandi, head of the fish traders association, told AFP.
Gamandi said that after setting up a barricade at Dogon Fili, 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Doron Baga in Borno state, the attackers stopped a convoy of fish vendors around midday, silently slaughtering some and drowning others in the lake.
“The Boko Haram gunmen slit the throats of some of the men and tied the hands and legs of the others before throwing them into the lake to drown”, Gamandi told AFP by telephone from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
It was unclear if the motive for the gruesome attack was robbery or if there were other reasons for the killings. Boko Haram has at times targeted residents seemingly indiscriminately in its deadly insurgency.
Doron Baga, 180 kilometres from Maiduguri, is the base of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), comprising troops from Nigeria, Chad and Niger fighting the Islamist group.