HERDSMEN ATTACK : Death toll in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba killings hits 51

In the last three days, 51 people have been killed by armed herdsmen in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, independent and security source have indicated.

Sixteen of the victims were killed in Benue State, 22 in Taraba and five in Nasarawa, bring the total casualty figure to 43.

And in Zamfara State, armed bandits attacked two communities in Anka Local Government Area, killing undisclosed number of people.

The bandits attacked a mining site at Kuru-kuru community and also ambushed some people from neighbouring Jarkuka community as they mobilised to help the distressed Kuru-kuru people who were under attack.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Mohammed Shehu, confirmed the attack saying, “we are aware of the attack, but I cannot give you details until my commissioner is fully briefed”.

Meanwhile, in Benue and Taraba States, residents claimed that death toll from the attacks in their states on Thursday rose to 51, with 28 of the number killed in Taraba State alone.

They said that while 10 people were killed in Benue on Wednesday, another six were murdered yesterday morning in Agbough, a suburb of Makurdi, the Benue State capital, by armed Fulani herdsmen.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday in London said that the killer-herdsmen were trained in Libya by the country’s late leader, Col. Muammar Gadaffi.

Residents of the Makurdi area told The AUTHORITY that the assailants who gained access to the settlement through the River Benue at the border with Nasarawa State shot sporadically and burnt down houses belonging to inhabitants.

One of the residents, Mr. Samuel Torlumun, that the incident had left over 150 persons displaced, while 60 were receiving treatment in various health centres in Makurdi.

Yesterday’s killing came a day after a similar incident five kilometres on the Makurdi-Naka Road, where the Fulani herdsmen barricaded the Federal High Way and killed four passers-by and abducted four others.

The Command’s PPRO, Moses Yamu, confirmed the latest incident.

He, however, said that only two persons were confirmed dead by the Force and that a detachment of mobile policemen had been deployed to the troubled area.

Initial reports showed that in Taraba, 26 villagers were killed in simultaneous attacks on Wednesday night.

An online news medium, PREMIUM TIMES, said that the killings occurred in two communities in Logo Local Government Area, Benue State, and Wukari Local Government Area, Taraba State.

It later clarified that the communities reported were not in Taraba.

“The first attack happened in Tse Hwer in Ukemberyge/Tsweray Council Ward in Logo Local Government around 6:30 p.m. to this morning,” a senior state government official said.

“Some people are saying that their family members are missing, but we haven’t been able to confirm how many exactly,” he added.

Taraba State Police Commissioner, David Akinremi, and his Benue State counterpart, Fatai Owoseni, did not respond to enquiries by the medium.

But the Taraba State governor’s spokesperson, Mr. Emmanuel Bello, said that news of the killings had spread to Jalingo, the state capital.

He, however, said he did not have all the details then, adding that a military panel probing alleged complicity by soldiers in the ongoing killings had arrived in the state and was sitting yesterday in Jalingo.

*Gunmen attack Nasarawa community, kill five

The Police Command in Nasarawa State has confirmed five persons killed in a fresh attack on Kadarko village and environs in Obi Local Government, on Tuesday.

The command’s spokesman, Mr. Kennedy Idirisu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lafia that the attackers invaded the village at night and shot everyone on sight.

He said that the command had deployed adequate personnel to quell the attacks, adding that relative normalcy had returned to the area.

Idirisu said that the command had arrested three suspects in connection with the Kadarko attacks, but explained that the situation was “a bit tense”.

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