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Zabarmari Brutal Killings: ‘Hands Tied, Throats Slit, Heads Cut Off And Placed On Bodies’

NOVEMBER 30, 2020 AT 9:26:55 AM


Two sons of Abubakar Yunus were among farmers working on their rice field in Zabarmari on Saturday morning when Boko Haram fighters stormed the community.

The farmers were rounded up and marched to a different location 10km away and locked in a room, survivors have said.

They were called in twos and threes for questioning.

“They slaughtered my sons in my presence,” he said.

Yunus recalls one of the fighters asking who his sons were to him.

“I replied that they were my children. I am still in shock as to how people could be that heartless,” he said.

Another source said it was the productive population in the community that was decimated.

“Those killed were our future; they were the breadwinners. They were agile men killed in their prime; we will never recover from this because a whole generation was wiped away. They left us the elderly behind alongside their wives and vulnerable children,” he said.

Why the rice farmers were attacked

It was learnt that trouble started between Thursday and Friday, when some Boko Haram fighters loyal to Abubakar Shekau went to Zabarmari to forcefully get food and other needs from the villagers.

“Exploiting the villagers to get food, money and other necessities at gunpoint is one of antics of the terrorists,” a source with knowledge of what happened said.

“However, it was a bad day for one of the terrorists who went to Zabarmari on Friday and asked one of the families there to cook food for him to take to his cohorts. They agreed but when he entered the restroom, the villagers summoned courage, seized his rifle and arrested him when he came out. They later handed him over to security operatives,” the source said.

Another source said this unprecedented bravery by the villagers was what angered the terrorists who mobilized 24 hours after and descended on the farmers working on rice fields.

“They were then called in twos and threes. The terrorists would ask them some questions and thereafter tie their hands to their backs and slit their throats. Some of the villagers were beheaded and the heads placed on their bodies. It is the height of callousness because only very few of those captured were spared during the killing spree,” the source said.

Daily Trust reports that farmers including women and children who were harvesting their rice in fields around Zabarmari, just 25 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, were rounded up between 9 am and noon on Saturday.

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