Armed men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram attacked and killed 56 fishermen in Doron-Baga, a community in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State.
The fishermen, were returning from a fishing expedition on Friday morning when they were ambushed, an official and a resident told PREMIUM TIMES.
“According to the reports we have so far received from our members in Baga, the killed fishermen were returning from a fishing expedition they set out for on Thursday night”, Muhammed Gava, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Vigilante Group in Borno State, told journalists on Sunday.
Mr. Gava added that “the gunmen forced them off their boats, and, at gunpoint, began to slaughter them one after the other.”
“They slaughtered 48 of them whose corpses our members found near the river, while corpses of 8 others whose necks had bruises were found floating near the river bank.
“The bodies that were recovered from the river were of those whom we suspect the Boko Haram terrorists’ knives could not pierce through their skins, so they had to tie their legs and hands with ropes, then dropped them into the river to die,” he added.
An official of the fish traders association in Baga, who would not want to be named for security concerns, told journalists that “some of our fishermen told us earlier that they had received a threat letter purportedly written to them by the Boko Haram who warned that they would be attacking the village very soon”.
The Friday incident was not the first of such in Doron-Baga. A similar incident of ambushing and beheading fishermen occurred on May 1, 2013 when about 20 fishermen were killed by the insurgents.
The Boko Haram attacks have continued despite a state of emergency in place in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe since April last year. President Goodluck Jonathan has also written to the National Assembly to extend the emergency rule which expires this month, a move opposed by many lawmakers who say it has not resolved the insurgency in those states.