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Suspected Herdsmen Attack Benue Villages, Kill 16 More People

Suspected armed herdsmen have killed 16 persons in Ali Agundu and Tsav council wards of Guma Government Area (LGA) of Benue State.

The separate attacks, which were carried out on both settlements simultaneously, took place barely one day after two priests and 17 other people were killed in Gwer East LGA of the state.

Chairman of Guma LGA, Mr Anthony Shawon, confirmed to Channels Television that the attacks occurred in the early hours of Wednesday.

Mr Shawon revealed that the assailants stormed Ali Agundu, a border settlement with Daudu where two Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps are located, at about 2.00 am and killed 13 persons.

He added that while this was ongoing, another set of suspected armed herdsmen killed three people in Tsav council ward, also in the LGA.

The chairman said the remains of those killed were buried hours later.

However, police authorities in the state have yet to confirm the incident.

On Tuesday, suspected armed herdsmen invaded Ayar-Mbalom community in Gwer East Local Government Area of the state, killing 19 people.

The Commissioner of Police in Benue, Mr Fatai Owoseni, who briefed reporters hours later, said about 30 assailants, whose targets were the priests and the venue of a burial ceremony, invaded the community.

He had, however, noted that the police would intensify their search of the assailants, and called on residents to provide useful information that can lead to the arrest of the attackers.

The deputy governor of the state, Mr Benson Abounu, had also reacted to Tuesday’s attack, saying it was another black day in the history of the state.

“We are under siege and I do believe that this has gone beyond the normal herdsmen-farmers crisis; this is a new dimension of attack and it has never happened before.

“What we are having at the moment is an attack by insurgents and these insurgents could come from any source, any background,” Abounu had said when he visited the scene of the earlier attack.

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