An attack this weekend by suspected Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in the northeastern state of Borno, Nigeria, has left at least 65 people dead, almost three times the initial toll, a local official said.
Dozens more bodies were discovered on Sunday following the assault a day before by gunmen on a village close to the regional capital, Maiduguri.
“It is 65 people dead and 10 injured,” said Muhammed Bulama, chairman of the local government.
Bulama said he thought the attack was in retaliation for the killing two weeks ago of 11 Boko Haram fighters by residents when the fighters approached their village.
“The villagers resisted the [earlier] attack, killed 11 insurgents and recovered 10 AK-47 rifles in the encounter,” he added.
“On Saturday at about 11:40am, the insurgents came on a reprisal mission, attacking mourners at a graveyard in the area.”
The leader of a local anti-Boko Haram militia confirmed the death toll, giving a slightly different account of the attack.
Bunu Bukar Mustapha told AFP news agency that 23 people were killed as they returned from the funeral and “the remaining 42 were killed when they pursued the terrorists”.