MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — The leader of a self-defense group in northern Nigeria says suspected Boko Haram insurgents have killed at least nine people at a farm outside Maiduguri city.

Bunu Bukar, the secretary of the Borno state hunters association, says the insurgents abducted five farmers Wednesday and returned Thursday for four others. He says the nine bodies were dumped Friday in Gongulong, about 13 kilometers (8 miles) east of the state capital.

Modu Hassan, a Maiduguri resident whose father in-law was among those killed, says the attackers tied the victims’ hands and slit their throats.

Boko Haram fighters have intensified attacks on farmers in recent weeks, including the killing of dozens in two raids in Damboa, south of Maiduguri.

The Islamic extremist group has killed more than 20,000 during its eight-year insurgency.

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