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36 Killed In Fresh Herdsmen Attacks In Benue, Nasarawa

Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have again killed at least 36 persons in Benue and Nasarawa states.

The four persons killed in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State were police officers, while 11 others were declared missing after an ambush was laid for the policemen by the herdsmen on Sunday evening and yesterday morning.

However, the Logo Local Government Council Chairman, Mr. Richard Nyajo, in a telephone interview maintained that the casualty figure was far higher, adding that many sustained injuries in the attack. Nyajo said: “The well armed herdsmen entangled the Police personnel on duty in the area at about 6pm and killed several of them but some managed to flee.

“Though I cannot confirm the total casualty figure but many were reported dead and several others sustained injuries. That is what those who managed to escape told me when I met them.” The state Police Command in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent, ASP, Moses Yamu, confirmed that the policemen lost their lives in an attack that started Sunday evening and lasted till the early hours of Monday (yesterday).

The statement read in part: “Benue State Police Command regrets to report that its personnel came under attack of insurgents at Anyibe, Logo LGA of the state between 6pm on Sunday April 15, 2018 and early morning today (Monday). “Sadly, at the moment, four casualties have been suffered by the Police. Additional reinforcement (including the Air Asset of the Police) deployed by Inspector General of Police is in pursuit of the murderous gang.”

Meanwhile, the Benue State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Prof. Tersoo Kpelai, has disclosed that over 56 persons were killed by suspected herdsmen in last Thursday’s attack on Gbeji town of Tsaav ward, Tse-Akaanya and Tse-Hiityo of Lumbuv council ward of Ukum Local Government Area of the state. Kpelai, who hails from the area, made the disclosure after undertaking an on-the-spot assessment of the sacked communities. He said the figure could be far higher at the end of search for the remains of victims in the affected villages. He said:

“So far, we have recovered 33 bodies from some of the bushes and rumbles of burnt houses, huts and farmland and the search is still ongoing. So, there is every likelihood that the figure would be much higher because three more bodies have just been recovered and many are still missing. “From what we have gathered so far from survivors, the herdsmen, who attacked the border communities, came from Chenkei in Taraba State. “Most of the survivors also accused Nigerian Army of colluding and leading the militant herdsmen to attack their villages. The property and valuables lost in the attack including houses, huts, farmland, economic trees, food barns and seedlings could be well over N300 million.’’

In the Nasarawa incident, no fewer than 32 persons were killed when herdsmen launched a fresh attack on over 32 Tiv communities in the southern senatorial district of Nasarawa State. The suspected killers were said to have carried out the attacks simultaneously in Awe, Keana, Obi and Doma Local Government Areas of the state, leaving 19 others with severe gun and machete injuries.