More than 100 people working on rice farms in northeastern Nigeria were killed by militants, according to several media reports. A local anti-jihadist militia has blamed Boko Haram for the attack.
Roughly 30 of the men killed were also beheaded in the attack, which began on Saturday morning in Zabarmari village in northeast Borno state.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” Edward Kallon said in a statement.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year,” Kallon said, blaming “non-state armed groups” without naming Boko Haram.
The bloodletting took place near the Borno state capital Maiduguri, with assailants targeting farm workers on rice fields, with a pro-government anti-jihadist militia saying the assailants tied up the labourers and slit their throats.
Last month Boko Haram militants slaughtered 22 farmers working on their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents.
Boko Haram and ISWAP, its IS-linked rival, have increasingly targeted loggers, herders and fishermen in their violent campaign, accusing them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them.
At least 36,000 people have been killed in the jihadist conflict, which has displaced around two million since 2009.