Police: Terrorists kill 25 fishermen in northeast Nigeria

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MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Islamic extremists killed at least 25 fishermen during an attack in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state, police told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The rebels attacked the fishermen in the remote village of Mukdolo in Borno where the years-long violence has been focused, local police chief Abdu Umar said. Some of the bodies in Wednesday’s attack were found and buried on Thursday, he said.

“There is not a single person in that place because it has been abandoned but the villagers from Dikwa go there to fish. Unfortunately, this time, Boko Haram (extremists) surrounded the place and killed 25 of them and nine escaped,” the police chief said of the attack. Locals reported that more than 30 was killed in the attack.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, continues to be embroiled in a 14-year-old insurgency in the northeast by Boko Islamist insurgents. Haram and its affiliate, the Islamic State West Africa Region. The extremists are fighting to establish Shariah law and stop Western education.

More than 35,000 people have died and more than 2 million have been displaced by the violence, according to the UN Development Programme.

Abba Modu with the local security outfit in Borno said the latest attack took place on Wednesday after the rebels warned locals to stay away from the river in Mukdolo town which is close to Sambisa forest, a place- a popular hideout for the militants.

“The Boko Haram people said that the river belongs to them now, and that no one would be allowed to fish there except their members,” Modu said.

“It was a tragic and sad event that happened to our people, and we have just returned from attending their funeral,” Mohammed Zakariya Dikwa, a local lawmaker from the area, told the AP.

In the past two weeks, dozens of rebels have been killed or arrested while more than 1,300 of them have surrendered to Nigerian troops, according to Musa Danmadami, a spokesman for Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters.

“Soldiers in the northeastern zone of the country have maintained and controlled the joint operation area,” Danmadami told reporters on Thursday.

The Nigerian government has often claimed that its security forces have greatly reduced the ability of extremists to carry out attacks, but security analysts argue that the insurgency has lasted for years because it has not the security forces of the country are sufficiently equipped and that they are too long fighting against other crimes.

Asadu reported from Abuja, Nigeria.

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