Nigeria: 17 herders killed by Boko Haram in Borno State

Boko Haram jihadists killed 17 herders and stole their cattle in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state on last Saturday, two officials of self-defense militias set up by the regional government said Monday.
Fighting broke out when jihadists attacked a group of herders guarding their cattle in a grazing field near the village of Airamne in Mafa district, the sources said.
“Seventeen herders were killed in the fighting and all their livestock taken by the Boko Haram insurgents who launched the attack,” said militia leader Babakura Kolo. “The herders tried to resist but were outnumbered by the attackers who also had better weapons,” Kolo added. The jihadists launched the attack from their camps in the nearby Gajiganna forest.
That’s where Boko Haram fighters have taken refuge after being largely driven out of their stronghold, the Sambisa Forest, by the rival Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) jihadist group and offensives by the Nigerian military, said another militiaman, Ibrahim Liman, who gave the same assessment.
Iswap was born out of a split with Boko Haram in 2016. Affiliated with the EI, it has become the dominant jihadist group in northeastern Nigeria since the death of rival Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in May 2021 in a clash with Iswap fighters.
Boko Haram and ISWAP are increasingly targeting civilians, including loggers, farmers and herders, whom they accuse of spying for the army and local militias fighting them.
Herders who agree to graze in jihadist-controlled territory after paying a tax, however, are generally spared from attack.
The 13-year-old conflict in northeastern Nigeria between the authorities and jihadists has claimed 40,000 lives and driven two million people from their homes, according to the United Nations.