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24 Killed, Several Houses Burnt in Fresh Suspected Herdsmen Attack in Benue

By Abdul Gafaar Bello

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – No fewer than 24 people lost their lives while many houses were set ablaze during a clash between the suspected herdsmen and youths in Omutu community in Okpokwu local government area of Benue state, north central Nigeria.

The Benue State Police Command Spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu confirmed the development in a statement he issued Tuesday morning and made available to newsmen.

While Yamu said the number of dead was 15, the Council Chairman, Olofu Ogwuche said in the afternoon while conducting Governor Sam Ortom round the affected community put the casualties at 24, both affirming that  the victims were mostly women and children.

The Police Spokesman stated that the attack was a reprisal after some youths in the community allegedly went berserk; attacked Fulani herdsmen and killed some cows.

His statement reads in part: “We received information from the security adviser of Okpokwu local government that some irate youths from Omutu engaged some herdsmen in a fight, maiming some cows while two herdsmen were missing.

“A peace meeting was immediately convened by the Council Chairman and the head of Fulani community in the area while a police search party went in search of the two missing herdsmen, one of whom was found dead.”

“Unfortunately, as the search and peace meeting were on going, some herdsmen went on a rampage, hacking 15 persons – mostly women and children, to death while some houses were set ablaze”.

According to ASP Yamu, four suspects have been arrested in connection with the ungly incident.

He added that an extensive patrol of the community was ongoing and it would be reinforced by Special Forces.

 

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