(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Boko Haram terrorists have killed six farmers who were working on their land near the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, civilian militia members and locals said on Monday.
Gunmen on motorcycles attacked a group preparing fields for the rainy season outside the village of Amrawa, 16 kilometres (10 miles) from the Borno State capital, on Saturday.
"The gunmen attacked the farmers with machetes as they were clearing their farms that have been taken over by weeds in preparation for the rains which start in a few days," said Ibrahim Liman, a civilian militia member.
"They seized six farmers and slaughtered them while the rest fled."
Liman's account was supported by Masida Bunu and Rahis Musa, who live in the village. Some residents raised the alarm and the militia pursued the attackers to the nearby village of Sojori.
"The vigilantes fought the terrorists and killed four while the rest fled," Liman said.
At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million made homeless in northeast Nigeria since the start of Boko Haram's insurgency in 2009.
Nigeria's government and military maintain that the terrorists are a spent force but sporadic attacks and suicide bombings pose a constant threat, particularly in remote areas.
Saturday's attack underscored the vulnerability of rural communities even as the authorities are encouraging displaced people to return home and rebuild their lives.
Northeast Nigeria is in the grip of severe food shortages after farmers missed three rainy seasons in a row because of the conflict.
Crops have been destroyed and food stores looted, while farmers have been either killed or forced to flee to safety in vast camps for the displaced.
Most of the remote region relies on subsistence agriculture, but domestic and international aid agencies are now having to provide food, shelter and healthcare.