The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has dismissed a report by the United Nations claiming over 110 civilians were killed by Boko Haram in Saturday during an attack on farmers in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
Naija News recalls that Boko Haram Terrorist group on Saturday beheaded 43 farmers in Zabarmari, less than 20 km from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Zambarmari is located in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
The bodies of the slain farmers whose throats were slit were on Sunday morning buried in a brief ceremony led by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State.
But the United Nations stated that over 110 farmers were actually killed and not the 43 reported in the media.
This was disclosed in a statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria.
“I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri. At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he stated.
Reacting on Monday while featuring on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, insisted that only 43 corpses were recovered from the incident scene in the Zabarmari.
He stated that troops alongside locals counted the corpses and 43 deaths were recorded.
“I knew it (the issue) is going to come up particularly because it is coming from the United Nations and not a source that does not want to be identified. This is a source that has identified itself that a 110 specifically (were murdered),” Enenche said.
Enenche, however, explained that he contacted the field commandants and “they gave me a synopsis of what happened. When the governor was to go (to the scene) and after they had recovered the dead, the troops had to move in there and they counted 43.
“Of course, some people ran into the bush and they started coming back and trickling in.
“As at 2pm yesterday (Sunday), I called them and they got back to me at about 7pm yesterday, still counting, looking if they will recover (more corpses). We call it Exploitation after Action Review.”
Enenche said there is an ongoing search for more remains of victims but so far 43 corpses have been retrieved from the scene.
“Probably we may count up to the figure he (Kallon) gave in the future but as it is now, what we have counted with the locals is still 43 and we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that.
“This is the real situation. I did not sleep, we had to follow it because this is very relevant coming from the United Nations,” he said.
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