Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the killing of scores of farmers and villagers in Borno State, northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants as a `terroristic massacre’.

“I want to assure my prayers for Nigeria, where blood has unfortunately been spilled once more in a terrorist attack,” he said in his weekly general audience.

About 43 rice farmers were beheaded in the attack, which began on Saturday morning in the village of Zabarmari, in the Jere Local Government Area of the state.

“May God welcome them into his peace and comfort their families, and may he convert the hearts of those who commit such horrors, which gravely offend His name,’’ Pope Francis said.