Boko Haram jihadists have killed 14 loggers as they collected firewood in northeast Nigeria, residents and anti-Boko Haram militia have told AFP.
The bodies of the men were found at Duwabayi village near the garrison town of Monguno in Borno state late Tuesday by other loggers.
“The bodies of the 14 men were evacuated to the police station in Monguno after some people reported seeing the bodies,” a militia leader in the town said.
Duwabayi village was deserted last year after residents fled into camps in Monguno due to Boko Haram attacks.
Fighters loyal to an IS-backed faction of the jihadists are known to operate in the area.
“Fourteen dead bodies were brought this evening to Monguno and people have been going to the police station to see if they could identify them,” Monguno resident Kulo Gana said.
Another resident, Bunami Mukhtar, said the corpses had “bullet wounds”.
The loggers were among thousands of people sheltering in camps in the town after being displaced by the jihadists.
Those in the camps rely on food aid to eat but some turn to felling vegetation in order to sell to buy extra produce.
Monguno, 135 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, houses a military base.
The town has been repeatedly attacked by jihadists, who have made several failed attempts to overrun the base.
Boko Haram militants have also repeatedly targeted farmers, loggers and herders, accusing them of passing information to the military and pro-government militia fighting them.
Four farmers were killed in an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on March 19 in a drive-by shooting as they worked on their farms outside Borno’s Askira town.
Boko Haram’s decade-long conflict has killed more than 27 000 people and displaced 1.8 million others in the northeast.
The violence has spread to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military response to fight the radical Islamist group.