Boko Haram militants have raided a village in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state, killing 11 farmers, three local militia officials told AFP on Friday.

Gunmen on two-wheelers invaded farms in Kwayangiya community, about 15 kilometers away from Maiduguri (the state capital).

“The attackers rounded up 11 farmers working in the fields, tied their hands with stakes and cut their throats,” said militia chief Babakura Koulo.

Another militia leader, Umar Ari, said “Boko Haram terrorists” did not use firearms to avoid attracting the attention of soldiers and civilians from the neighboring village of Molai. “The 11 farmers were slaughtered and the bodies were abandoned on the farms,” ​​he said.

All the victims were farmers from the nearby village of Dalwa, where hundreds of residents who had temporarily taken refuge in Maiduguri to escape jihadist attacks had returned in recent months, militiaman Ibrahim Liman said, confirming the death toll.

Since 2018, authorities in Borno state have closed several camps for displaced people, forcing them to return to their homes, despite concerns expressed by non-governmental organizations.

Jihadists from Boko Haram and the Islamic State affiliate in West Africa often launch attacks on farmers, herders, fishermen and loggers, accusing them of spying for government forces.

Last month, seven farmers and loggers were killed and 22 others kidnapped in two separate attacks in the Banki district of Borno state, near the border with Cameroon.

Since the outbreak of the jihadist guerrilla war in 2009, more than 40,000 people have died and more than two million have been forced to flee their homes, according to UN figures.