As at Wednesday, the death toll from an attack by members of the Islamic State group on a village in northeast Nigeria has risen to 69.
According to AFP, security sources said the fighters who are believed to be from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction shot and ran over residents with vehicles in the assault on the remote village of Felo on Tuesday.
The report stated that sources told AFP that the death toll had risen from 59 after 10 more bodies were discovered in the countryside around the herding community.
“They actually killed 69 people. More bodies were discovered scattered on the open expanse,” a senior military officer said.
Ibrahim Liman, a member of a government-backed anti-jihadist militia, gave the same overall figure.
“The bodies were strewn over a large area as the insurgents pursued their victims, shooting them and crushing them with their vehicles,” he said.
A community leader who asked not to be named said the attackers had mowed down the 69 “men, and children” as they watched over their cattle at a watering hole outside the village.
“Our people were caught off guard by the gunmen who surrounded them,” the leader said. It is an open field with nowhere to hide. They couldn’t escape, they couldn’t outrun the vehicles.”
Local leaders said earlier that the attack was thought to be in reprisal for the killing of jihadists by a community self-defence group formed to stop cattle thefts.
Northeast Nigeria has been wracked by a decade-long Islamist insurgency that has left at least 36,000 dead and displaced some 2 million.