Pope Francis has condemned the killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno state, Nigeria, by members of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group.
Speaking on the massacre during his virtual weekly general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis commiserated with the families of the slain farmers.
The Pope prayed that the “hearts of those who commit such horrors” will also be converted.
He said: “I want to assure my prayers for Nigeria, which unfortunately once again has been bloodied by a terroristic massacre.
“May God welcome them into his peace and comfort their families, and may he convert the hearts of those who commit such horrors, which gravely offend His name.”
Bibian Anekwe News recalls that Boko Haram Terrorist group on Saturday beheaded 43 farmers in Zabarmari, less than 20 km from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Zambarmari is located in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
The bodies of the slain farmers whose throats were slit were buried in a brief ceremony led by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State.
The United Nations who earlier stated that 110 farmers were actually killed and not the 43, described the killings as the “most violent attack” targeted at civilians in 2020.
In a video on Tuesday, Abubakar Shekau, leader of a faction of the Boko Haram sect, claimed his group was responsible for the killing and said at least, 78 farmers were killed in the incident.
Giving reasons for the massacre, he said the farmers were killed because they handed over a member of the sect to the Nigerian army.