The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has condemned the massacre of rice farmers in northeastern Nigeria last weekend.

In a statement Wednesday, the Pope said, “I want to assure my prayers for Nigeria, where blood has unfortunately been spilled once more in a terrorist attack.”

The Boko Haram jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack that left at least 76 people dead.

Al Jazeera media has reported that 110 people were killed in the group’s most deadly attack in 2020.
“I want to assure my prayers for Nigeria, where blood has unfortunately been spilled once more in a terrorist attack,” Pope Francis said in his weekly general address.

He prayed that God should “welcome them in his peace and comfort their families, and convert the hearts of those who commit similar atrocities, which gravely offend his name.”

Boko Haram gunmen on motorbikes stormed a rice field where farmers were cultivating outside Borno state’s capital, Maiduguri, on Saturday, slaughtering dozens of labourers in rice fields near the village of Zabarmari.

Boko Haram group leader, Abubakar Shekau, later admitted in a video on Tuesday that the group was “responsible for what happened around Maiduguri in recent days… especially in Zabarmari.”

The United Nations had put the death toll of the attack at 110 people but later amended it in a statement on Sunday to say that “tens of civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded,” reports Al Jazeera.