The bodies of 42 fishermen, who were killed by the Islamist group, Boko Haram, have been pulled from Lake Chad in Cameroon, the country's military has announced.
The men had been seized on 8 June from the village of Darak, located near the Nigerian border, by militants who also killed 10 fishermen in nearby Touboun Ali on 6 June and 32 soldiers in Bosso, Niger on 3 June.
"Cameroonian sailors and villagers... saw several bodies floating on the water and immediately alerted security forces," Cololenl Nomo Jean Claude told the African news website the Daily Sabah. "We recovered 42 bodies from the water between Saturday and Sunday. After identification, we found they were of Cameroonian, Nigerian and Chadian nationality. The bodies were immediately handed over to the families for burial."
Boko Haram has fought a seven-year battle to form an Islamist caliphate in the region in which around 20,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million people displaced. Around 50,000 have been displaced in south eastern Niger in the last few days due to an onslaught by the group, according to Fox News.
This has prompted a doubling of food aid to southern Niger, the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP) announced on Tuesday (14 June). "Many people have walked from 10 km to 40 kms (6 to 25 miles)," said WFP Niger deputy country director Belkacem Machane in a statement published by Reuters.
"They are arriving in a state of shock, and urgently need food, shelter, water – assistance with their most basic needs. They have now reached the end of their rope."
Niger, Chad, Benin and Cameroon have all joined an international task-force to fight the insurgents, but often ordinary civilians are the ones who suffer most. BokoHaram has bombed many mosques, transport hubs and even refugee centres, as well as snatching over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok and selling them into slavery.
In March (2016) Cameroon announced the death penalty for 89 members of Boko Haram, a decision dismissed as counter-productive by anti-terrorism experts.