ABUJA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- At least six farmers were shot dead by suspected Boko Haram militants who attacked an area near Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri, security sources said on Thursday.
The farmers were killed in Muna Dalti community, located about 6 kilometers north to Maiduguri, the capital of the restive northern state of Borno, on Wednesday.
One senior military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the victims were working on their farmland in preparation for the rainy season farming activities when the terror group members invaded their community.
The Boko Haram militants rode into the community on motorbikes, the military source said.
The bodies of the farmers were recovered during search and rescue operation by locals who had earlier fled the area due to the attack, according to the source. The victims were buried later in the day.
Sheriff Danfulani, head of the government-backed Civilian Joint Task Force, a militia group, lamented that Boko Haram had previously attacked and killed farmers in the local community, twice.
Danfulani told Xinhua that in the previous times the Boko Haram militants carted away foodstuffs and livestock belonging to the farmers.
Abdulkarim Yahaya, a farmer, whose brother was a victim of the latest attack, said most locals no longer feel safe going to the farm because of the fear of attacks by the Boko Haram militants.
Sometimes, he said, the Boko Haram militants harvested crops on the villagers' farms at night.
On June 24, some 22 local farmers were killed following an attack by Boko Haram militants who invaded Ngamgam village, about 50 km east of Damasak town in Mobbar local government area of Borno.
Boko Haram, which launched attacks in Nigeria's northeast a decade ago, is known for its agenda to maintain a virtual caliphate in the most populous African country.