Boko Haram kill 21 civilians in northeast Nigeria

Victims were trying to return to their homes to recover food when they were shot dead by gunmen, officials said.

    The men killed had returned to their village to recover food supplies [File: Al Jazeera]
    The men killed had returned to their village to recover food supplies [File: Al Jazeera]

    Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have shot dead 21 people in northeast Nigeria who were trying to return home to recover abandoned supplies, a local official and a victim's relative said.

    The victims, who were all male, were stopped at the village of Bultaram by gunmen believed to belong to Boko Haram and gunned down, an official from the Gujba local government in Yobe state said on Monday.

    Family members of one of the victims told the AFP news agency that the men had gone back to their homes in the village to recover food supplies.

    Gujba is one of a handful of districts in Yobe that Boko Haram captured during a sweeping offensive last year. Many of its residents have fled and sought refuge Yobe's capital Damaturu.

    The area has been hit by waves of attacks during Boko Haram's six-year uprising, including a massacre at an agricultural college in 2013 that targeted students sleeping their dormitories.

    Nigeria's military has since claimed a series of successes against Boko Haram in an operation launched in February with neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

    Scores of towns previously under rebel control have reportedly been liberated.

    Nigeria's military and outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan have encouraged those displaced by the uprising to return home, declaring much of the northeast  safe for resettlement.

    But community leaders in the embattled region have warned civilians are still at risk of attacks by fighters, especially those returning to remote area like Gujba where the military's deployment has typically been thin.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.