The United Nations has retracted an earlier claim that 110 farmers were killed by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in Zabarmari community, Borno State.
ALEDEH News had on Saturday, quoting Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) sources, reported that at least 43 rice farmers lost their lives in an attack on Zabarmari community in Jere local government area.
During a mass burial of the deceased farmers on Sunday, On Sunday, Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, told journalists that 43 farmers were killed, adding that there might be more.
Later on Sunday evening, the UN issued a statement which quoted the head of the UN System in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, saying that at least 110 farmers were killed in the said attack. He claimed that “at least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”
On Monday, the Defence Headquarters rejected the organisation’s claim, saying its troops counted 43 bodies, adding that a search for more bodies was still ongoing.
However, in on Monday, the UN withdrew its claim that “110 civilians died,” saying its initial statement was inaccurate.
The UN’s head, public information, Eve Sabbagh, said the earlier numbers quoted by Mr Kallon were not correctly sourced.
In an email circulated to reporters, Sabbagh asked journalists to disregard the earlier statement.
“Please note the number of 110 civilians killed on Saturday’s attack is an unconfirmed number and the correct version of the statement by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator is the one published yesterday on Reliefweb and used on OCHA Nigeria’s Twitter account,” she said.
In the fresh statement, the humanitarian agency replaced the portion where it quoted “110 deaths” with “unspecified figure”.
The statement now quotes Mr Kallon as saying “tens of civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack.”