18 including children killed as herders attack in Benue

Starrys Obazei/ November 4, 2022.

Eighteen persons including children were feared dead in a fresh armed herdsmen’s attack on Ukohol and three other neighboring villages in Guma Local Government Area, of Benue State.

The marauders who were said to have invaded the communities from neighboring Nasarawa state at about 4 p.m. on Thursday, killed several of the victims who were trading at the village market at the time of the attack.

According to an anonymous source, the armed herders who had in the last two months staged repeated attacks on parts of Guma also attacked commuters on the Makurdi-Lafia road close to the Ortese Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camp where one person was killed and several others injured.

He said: “The attacks started around 4 p.m., they invaded the communities from neighboring Nasarawa State and started shooting sporadically, killing anyone they came across.

“Several people, including were killed at the Ukohol market and other surrounding villages, and many others sustained injuries.

“As we speak the entire place is like a war zone, people are still fleeing their homes and running to anywhere they can find safety since no one knows where they would attack next because the attack was unprovoked.”

Confirming the attack, the Chairman of the LGA, Dr. Michael Uba disclosed that 10 persons were killed in the market while eight others were killed in three neighboring villages.

He stated that the herders who appeared in black attire stormed the market in a commando style and started shooting the unsuspecting traders and their customers.

According to him “around 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, my people at Ukohol village were attacked by armed herdsmen who killed about 10 people. The worst of it all is that they even killed children below the age of two.

“They didn’t stop at that point but went to three other neighboring villages/settlements and killed another eight making it a total of 18.

“Ten persons were killed in the market while the eight were murdered in the villages when they were running back and trying to flee.”

The Chairman who commended security operatives for their prompt response to the distress call from the besieged communities said their timely intervention saved what would have been a massacre in the affected communities.

He said: “If they had delayed, the casualty figure would have been much more than what we have because it was a market day and they went there and started shooting at the people.

“What is happening now is that they are trying to destabilize and displace our people from their villages and settlements and thereafter occupy them and graze there at night.

“In this latest incident, the armed herdsmen appeared in black attire and attacked in a commando fashion. No village was spared and the whole 10 council wards in Guma were affected.

“The development has worsened the IDPs’ situation in our area because the people are all fleeing their homes and looking for where to hide. It is a sad day for my people and me.”

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