Armed ViolenceNews

#ZabarmariMassacre: 35 Decomposing Bodies Newly Discovered

Troops and operatives of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) have recovered at least 35 decomposing bodies in the Zabarmari area of Jere, Borno State Northeast Nigeria, on Monday.

These are different from the 43 originally reported to have been killed by terrorists, taking the confirmed death toll to 78.

The search operation for the remaining victims of Saturday’s gruesome massacre was initially planned for Sunday, security sources informed HumAngle.

The newly discovered victims were buried at the spot because the search team was unable to move the badly decapitated and decomposing bodies.

HumAngle had reported after the Saturday gruesome murder of the 43 rice farmers that many more farmers were still missing while the death toll was expected to rise.

A member of the civilian vigilante group had on Sunday told our reporter dozens of farmers were still missing. He said a search and rescue exercise for survivors and other deceased victims remained a dangerous task as Boko Haram fighters operated a few kilometres from Zabarmari general area.

Zabarmari is located less than 20 kilometres from the Counter-Insurgency Operation Lafiya Dole command centre in Maiduguri, the state capital.

On Sunday, 43 victims of the massacre were buried with the state governor Babagana Zulum present. Zulum provided financial assistance to some of the survivors and bereaved families.

The attackers had tied and slaughtered their victims and also burnt the farm they were cultivating.

According to the United Nations (UN), at least 110 people were killed during the attack. Several women are also believed to have been kidnapped. 

Edward Kallon, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said the incident was the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. He urged that the perpetrators of the “heinous and senseless act” be brought to justice.

The killings have sparked public outcry, with many people calling on the government to intensify efforts to improve security in the country. 

In a statement issued on Monday, the US Embassy in Nigeria asked the Federal Government to unravel the killers of the slain farmers, adding that they should be brought to book.

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the November 28 violent attack in Borno, Nigeria. The United States offers our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed or kidnapped,” the statement read.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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