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‘Boko Haram didn’t kill 110 Farmers’, UN withdraws claim

NEWSMAN, Abuja – United Nations (UN) has withdrawn an earlier claim that 110 farmers were killed by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in Zabarmari community, Borno State over the weekend.

Borno State government had said at least 43 farmers were beheaded in an attack by insurgents on a rice field on Saturday.

On Sunday however, UN issued a statement which quoted the United Nations Resident Coordinatorin Nigeria, Edward Kallon, as saying that “at least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack”. This figure has now gone viral.

But in a new statement on Monday, UN said its initial statement was inaccurate as the earlier numbers quoted by Kallon were incorrect.

“Please note the number of 110 civilians killed on Saturday’s attack is an unconfirmed number and the correct version of the statement by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator is the one published yesterday on Reliefweb and used on OCHA Nigeria’s Twitter account”, the statement read.

In the fresh statement, the humanitarian agency replaced the portion where it quoted “110 deaths” with “unspecified figure”.

This time around, Kallon was quoted saying “tens of civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”

The remaining paragraphs of the one-paged statement remained the same.

The UN did not, however, add how it got the earlier figure it released and which was quoted by at least one international media outlet.

Meanwhile, sources in Zabarmari had confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that a search party was still combing the bushes for other missing farmers at the time our reporter visited the farm.

“The number of death remains the same. We have not had any other corpses other than the 43 we buried yesterday; even though we know about 70 farmers were involved in the incident”, he said.

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