Cameroonian troops killed about 70 residents of a village in the Gwoza local government area of Borno state during a chase of members of the Boko Haram sect on Sunday.
According to AP, the soldiers entered Kirawa-Jimni village and asked where Boko Haram insurgents were, before opening fire.
“We didn’t know what was going on but the Cameroonian troops suddenly appeared and began to ask us for Boko Haram terrorists,” Muhammed Abba, deputy commander of the Civilian JTF, a local vigilante outfit, told AP.
“Before we could say a word, they started firing. That scared most of us and we began to run.”
Abba was quoted as saying by the time people returned on Monday, they found 70 corpses littering the ground.
Abbas Gava, Borno spokesman of civilian JTF, corroborated Abba’s account, saying he received calls from residents of Ashigashiya village near the border with Cameroon.
“They said the soldiers were in hot pursuit of the Boko Haram terrorists who ran into Kirawa-Jimni. The soldiers did not waste time upon arrival as they immediately opened fire on the villagers,” he said.
Kirawa-Jimni is a border community near Cameroon, located around the area where Boko Haram declared a caliphate in August 2014.
AP said many Gwoza residents who fled to Maiduguri and Yola in Adamawa state, claimed that the insurgents are still in the area.
One-hundred-and-fifty people were reportedly killed by Cameroonian troops when they chased Boko Haram fighters into Nigeria on November 30.
The soldiers were also said to have burnt several huts and forced people out of their communities, an allegation that Cameroon’s government denied, saying its military is trained to respect human rights.
The government said its troops carried out a coordinated operation on several border villages around Lake Chad between November 27 and November 29, freeing 900 people held by the sect.