The Boko Haram terrorist outfit in Northeast Nigeria has killed 16 Christian men on the shores of Lake Chad by slitting their throats, an international Catholic humanitarian organization is reporting.
According to the website for the Italian office of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, the Islamic State-affiliated militant group sliced the throats of 16 Christian fishermen last Monday on Lake Chad in Nigeria's Borno state.
Although previous reports suggested that only 10 fishermen were killed by Boko Haram in attacks on three villages off the shores of Lake Chad, sources close to the incident told the Bishop Rosario Pio Ramolo, who presides over the Chadian Archdiocese of N'Djamena, that there were 16 victims, all of whom originated from Chad.
The head of the fisher's union in the Borno state, Abubakar Gamandi told AFP that the attacks occurred around 4 p.m. on July 27 and took place in the villages of Bundaram, Fishdam and Kwatar Mali.
Gamandi said the militants carried out their attacks without drawing the attention of military troops who recently secured the town of Baga from Boko Haram and have allowed fisherman and other residents to return to the village.
"Boko Haram decided not to use guns so as not to attract the attention of soldiers from Baga," Gamandi said. "This is why they used knives to slaughter their victims."
Earlier in July, militants killed nine watermelon farmers who returned to harvest their produce in Dabar Wiya.
Ramolo explained that Boko Haram attacks in and around Chad have increased as the militant group is trying to avenge the Chadian government's intervention against the group in various areas around Lake Chad.
"The Chadian President Idriss Deby has declared open war against the Islamists," Ramolo said. "These acts represent an attempt at revenge. Before now the extremists had not acted in Chad, despite being on the border with Nigeria."
The source also told Ramolo that Boko Haram's attacks in Chad have left at least 70 people dead and more than 200 wounded, noting that the violence happened mostly around the city of N'Djamena and other areas bordering Nigeria.
"Christians are not the only ones being targeted by fundamentalists," Ramolo said. "Some religious have told me they had found human remains in the courtyard of the archbishop, who is not far from the place of the incident."
Last Monday, Boko Haram militants also attacked two other Christian villages in the Borno State and killed at least 29 people and left many others injured. According to the Daily Post, the militants stormed the community of Dille and surrounding villages of Askira Uba with AK-47s and petrol bombs.
Residents told the news source that the death toll could have been higher but a number of citizens fled the town.
The community of Dille was also victimized by a Boko Haram attack on July 14, where militants killed 14 residents and burned down three churches.
As the Boko Haram insurgency has lasted over six years now, estimates show at least 20,000 people have been killed during uprisings.
Last Friday, Chadian authorities announced that that their troops have killed at least 117 Boko Haram fighters in a two-week operation on Lake Chad.
"For two weeks, Boko Haram terrorists have been trying to infiltrate our islands on Lake Chad to carry out attacks on peaceful citizens," army spokesman, Col. Azem Bermendoa Agouna, said. "Our armed forces and security forces have launched a vast offensive to dig out and neutralize these terrorists on these islands."