At least 14 people were killed when Boko Haram jihadists attacked loggers in northeastern Nigeria, members of a militia force told AFP Wednesday.
The group came under attack on Monday in Koshebe forest, 10 kilometres (six miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, militia leader Babakura Kolo said.
The assailants were supporters of a long-time factional leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, he said.
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“We have recovered a total of 14 bodies from the scene of the attack and we are still looking for four more,” Kolo said.
“We recovered nine bodies yesterday (Tuesday) and five more this morning,” said militiaman Mohammed Asheik, who was among the search team combing the bush for bodies.
Four other wood-cutters are missing and presumed killed, he said.
The loggers, who were in the forest to cut firewood, came from Lawanti village in Jere area, which the jihadists have previously targeted.
The bodies were scattered over a large area because the jihadists pursued the loggers and gunned them down as they fled, said Kolo.
Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted farmers, loggers and herders, accusing them of passing information on the group to soldiers and the pro-government militia fighting them.
Last month, four farmers were killed as they worked near Molai village, five km outside Maiduguri.
Boko Haram’s decade-long uprising to establish a hardline Islamic state in remote northeastern Nigeria has killed more than 27,000 people and displaced 1.8 million from their homes.
The conflict has spilt into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, sparking a humanitarian crisis in the region.