Suspected Boko Haram insurgents killed at least 40 people in two attacks on a village in the northeastern state of Yobe, police said Wednesday.
The first attack happened on Monday evening, when gunmen stormed Gurokayeya village in Yobe state and opened fire, killing the village head and between 17 and 20 others, according to Dungus Abdulkarim, the state police spokesman.
The second attack happened on Tuesday evening, when people who had gathered for the burial of those killed in the first attack drove over a landmine, killing 20 more people, Abdulkarim said.
Residents told local media that the killings were a reprisal for the farmers in the village refusing to pay taxes to the insurgents on their harvest.
Abdulkarim said that the village is a stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents and that troops had even tagged the area as a “no-go area.”
The attacks are the latest in a series of violent incidents carried out by Boko Haram, which has been waging an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria since 2009. The group has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions more.
The attacks in Gurokayeya village highlight the continued threat posed by Boko Haram, even as the Nigerian government claims to have made progress in defeating the group.
The fact that the attacks targeted farmers who refused to pay taxes to the insurgents suggests that the group is still able to operate freely in some areas and that it is still relying on extortion to fund its operations.
The attacks also raise concerns about the safety of civilians in northeastern Nigeria, particularly those living in rural areas.