Terrorists have killed at least five internally displaced persons collecting firewood outside the Garrison town of Damboa in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.
According to Daily Trust, the incident happened on Sunday when a group of displaced persons went outside Damboa town to collect firewood.
Damboa is located in the southern part of Borno State, the epicentre of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, and close to the dreaded Alagarno forest.
The Local Government headquarters is 87km from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
More than half of the population in Damboa are internally displaced persons, and nearly all of them require humanitarian assistance.
Abu Damboa, a member of the local vigilance group, was quoted by the report as saying that the displaced persons were declared missing when they didn’t return.
He added that a search party was dispatched to look for them.
“We got the report that some internally displaced persons were missing. So, we swung into action but later found five of them beheaded two kilometres away from the scene where they were falling trees,” Damboa said.
“It was disheartening to see fellow human beings slaughtered like animals. They were all displaced persons.”
A humanitarian source also confirmed the death of the five internally displaced persons.
“Five dead bodies out of the eight missing, displaced persons who went in search of firewood outside Damboa town some six to eight km, were recovered this morning,” he told the newspaper.
It’s unclear which of the Jihadist group was responsible for the incident in Damboa.
Boko Haram is notorious for targeting loggers.
The incident highlights the threat faced by locals and displaced persons moving outside garrison towns to collect firewood.
In December 2020, three loggers were found dead and at least 40 more feared abducted.
The dead were found in the Wulgo forest near the town of Gamboru, where they had gone to collect firewood.
In Feb. 2019, the insurgents reportedly killed 18 firewood collectors as they explored the forest in Koshebe, Jere Local Government Area.
A similar incident occurred in April 2019 in Monguno, a garrison town about 100 kilometres from Maiduguri, when 14 firewood collectors were found dead at Duwabayi village near the garrison town.
Monguno is known to be within the sphere of ISWAP influence and activities.
In Jan. 2018, at least 20 loggers were killed when a group of armed fighters shot at them.
The loggers were collecting firewood at Kaje village, near Maiduguri. Fifteen others were declared missing and presumed kidnapped.
In December 2017, another set of loggers were shot dead at Maiwa village, about three kilometres from Kaje, while the terrorists burned three truck-loads of firewood.