First he heard voices, then the sputter of gunfire.
Kaka crept behind an acacia tree and froze in terror. The teen was returning home after gathering firewood late one July afternoon in 2020. Peering ahead, he saw a group of men at a waterhole, most in Nigerian Army camouflage.
They stood over a line of children face down in the dirt, wailing for their mothers, Kaka recalled. Nearby, several adults lay prone – including mothers with infants tied to their backs. He heard some voices cry out to God.
Two or three men already lay dead; the soldiers shot three more. They killed the women next, and then the children, cutting short their cries with a hail of bullets, Kaka said. The troops dragged the bodies into a pre-dug grave, shoveled sandy earth over them and drove off.
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