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Borno Farmers: We are still searching for more corpses, says Defence Headquarters

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IN response to reports by the United Nations that no fewer than 110,  were killed by Boko Haram terrorists in Maiduguri, Borno State as against 43 persons earlier reported, the Nigerian Defence Headquarters has said that military operatives are still searching for more bodies.

The Defence Headquarters said this on Monday when the military spokesperson, John Enenche featured on Sunrise Daily programme on Channels television to discuss the rate of insecurity in the country.

“I had to contact the people in the theatre, right from the commander, the UC and then the media operation officer and then they gave me a synopsis of what happened. When the governor was to go and after they had recovered the dead, the troops had to move in there and they counted 43.

“Of course, some people ran into the bush and they started coming back and trickling in.

“As at 2 pm yesterday (Sunday), I called them and they got back to me at about 7 pm yesterday, still counting, looking if they will recover (more corpses). We call it Exploitation After Action Review,” said Enenche.

He added that the military may eventually count up to the figure quoted by the United Nations but only 43 has been counted so far.

“Probably we may count up to the figure he (UN officer, Kallon) gave in the future but as it is now, what we have counted with the locals is still 43 and we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that.

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“This is the real situation. I did not sleep, we had to follow it because this is very relevant coming from the United Nations,” he stated.

According to reports, Edward Kallon, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator had said the at least 110 were killed in the attack by Boko Haram.

However, in a telephone conversation with The ICIR, Eve Sabbagh, the Head of Public Information, United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Nigeria said the 110 figures have been retracted.

“We got initial numbers that there were more bodies being recovered on Sunday and it could be up to 110 people killed but we can’t confirm these numbers. So on the official statement, we are saying 110 because all we can confirm so far are the 43 recovered bodies.

“However, there was an initial version that had gone with the initial numbers, so that is why the press is reporting that (110) but we have retracted it and the official statement that we published online says tens of civilians,” Sabbagh told The ICIR.

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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