A Nigerian task force found more than 100 decomposing corpses in a northeastern town recaptured from Islamist militants last month, a member of a youth vigilante group said.
Bodies littered the streets of Damasak and were found in homes, shallow graves and dried-up river beds when the committee set up by the state governor visited the town, group member Hassan Ibrahim said by phone. The remains were buried at the weekend under the supervision of troops from Chad, according to Ibrahim, who said some vigilante members were on the committee.
The dead were “believed to have been killed by Boko Haram insurgents as they fled the town following an onslaught by Chadian forces” in March, Ibrahim said.
Nigeria has been joined by troops from neighboring Niger and Chad in fighting Boko Haram, which the government says has killed more than 13,000 people in its six-year campaign to impose Islamic law on Africa’s biggest oil producer. The militants had controlled Damasak for several months.
On March 26, Nigeria’s government denied reports that hundreds of people had been kidnapped by Boko Haram in Damasak. A senator from Borno state had previously said that militants may have abducted as many as 500 residents.