Boko Haram massacre kills at least 110, kidnap wives and children

Boko Haram massacre kills at least 110, kidnap wives and children

At least 110 rice farmers and fisherman have been brutally slaughtered and beheaded by suspected Islamist militants in Nigeria.

The workers had been tied up and had their throats slit in the horrific attack in Borno state.

'At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,' the UN's humanitarian coordinator in the country Edward Kallon said in a statement.

Initial tolls indicated 43 and then at least 70 dead from Saturday's massacre were killed by the suspected Boko Haram fighters.   

'The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year,' Kallon said.

The bloodletting centred on the village of Koshobe near the Borno state capital Maiduguri, with assailants targeting farm workers on rice fields, with a pro-government anti-jihadist militia saying the assailants tied up the labourers and slit their throats.

Kallon said the assailants - 'armed men on motorcycles' - also targeted other communities in the area.

Kallon, citing 'reports that several women may have been kidnapped', called for their immediate release.

Last month Boko Haram militants slaughtered 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri, in two separate attacks.

At least 36,000 people have been killed in the jihadist conflict, which has forced around two million people to flee their homes since 2009.