Boko Haram jihadists slaughtered at least 26 women by slitting their throats after their commander accused them of being witches who caused the sudden death of his children in Nigeria.
Around 40 women were held in a village near Gwoza town in Borno State, north-eastern Nigeria, on the orders of jihadist commander Ali Guyile after his children suddenly died overnight, according to relatives and a woman who escaped.
They said the commander had accused the women of causing the children’s deaths through witchcraft.
On Thursday last week, 14 women were slaughtered in Gwoza town and a few days later, another 12 were killed by the Boko Haram jihadists.
Accusations of witchcraft are not uncommon in Nigeria, a religious conservative country almost equally divided between the mostly Muslim north and Christian south.
attack said Guyile, a 35-year-old commander, asked his men to arrest the group of 40 women from homes known to practise witchcraft.
Talkwe Linbe, one of the accused women, said she managed to escape and fled to the regional capital Maiduguri after the killing of 14 women on Thursday.
‘He (Guyile) said he would investigate our involvement in the deaths of his children,’ she said.
‘On Thursday he ordered 14 among us to be slaughtered. I was lucky I was not among them.’
The relatives and residents interviewed did not specify how the women died but the term they used in Hausa usually refers to jihadists slitting victims’ throats.