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At least 40 people working on rice farms in northeastern Nigeria were killed by militants, according to several media reports. A local anti-jihadist militia has blamed Boko Haram for the attack.
Militants killed at least 40 farm workers in rice fields near the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday, news agencies and Nigerian media reported.
The attack, which injured six other people, took place in the village of Koshobe in Nigeria's restive Borno state. A local anti-jihadist militia told news agency AFP that the fighters tied up the farmworkers and slit their throats.
Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, the local anti-jihadist militia said Boko Haram was likely behind the killings.
"It is no doubt the handiwork of Boko Haram who operate in the area and frequently attack farmers," militia leader Babakura Kolo told AFP.
The workers were from the Sokoto state in northwestern Nigeria and had traveled roughly 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) to the northeast to find work, another militia member Ibrahim Liman told AFP.
Eight others are missing and are presumed to have been kidnapped by the militants, Liman added.
President Muhammadu Buhari released a statement condemning the latest attack in Borno state.
"The entire country has been wounded by these senseless killings," he said in a statement.
The incident comes a month after Boko Haram fighters killed 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents.
Boko Haram and ISWAP — its "Islamic State"-linked rival which is also active in the region — have increasingly targeted loggers, herders and fishermen, accusing them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia.
Saturday's attack took place as people voted in local elections in Borno state. The elections had been postponed repeatedly because of the increasing attacks.
dvv/rs (AFP, Reuters)