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100 killed in Benue communities, refugee camps

MAKURDI—Over 100 persons, mostly women, children and the elderly, were feared killed early Sunday morning in villages and refugee camps located at Ukura, Gafa, Per and Tse-Gusa in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, in one of the bloodiest attacks on Benue communities by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The areas, which until the latest onslaught, hosted most refugees from previous attacks by the herdsmen, is where the home town of Governor Gabriel Suswam is located.

Some of the attackers dressed in military uniform, stormed the affected villages in large numbers and after sacking the communities, matched into the camps and opened sustained fire on the helpless refugees.

He said: “What happened was like a war situation where people were killed like animals, irrespective of their ages and gender. This is, indeed, a sad day for the people of Benue State.

“At the moment, a mass burial is taking place for the over 100 victims whose bodies have so far been recovered.

“Most of them were women, children and the elderly, and they are decomposing already.
“Search for more bodies is still ongoing in the area, because so many persons are still missing and unaccounted for.”

Govt confirms killings

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Gabriel Suswam on Media Affairs, Mr. Joseph Anawa, confirmed the incident.

He said: “Indeed, over 100 people were killed last Sunday morning when heavily armed suspected Fulani herdsmen, some of whom were dressed in military uniform, stormed the communities from Kente in neighbouring Taraba State.

“They attacked the villages and refugee camps at Ukura, Gafa, Per and Tse-Gusa, where they began shooting indiscriminately at the people at 4a.m. and continued till 10.30a.m.

“As we speak, the communities have been sacked, hundreds of houses, huts, farmland and property worth millions of naira have been destroyed and the inhabitants and survivors have all fled their homes and the communities.”

Neighbours flee

The development had sparked a mass movement of thousands of people, who are fleeing their communities for fear of being attacked and killed by the marauding herdsmen.

Reacting to the development, the paramount ruler of the area, Tor Sankera, Chief Terkura Suswam, who described the attack as unfortunate and condemnable, said he was collaborating with other traditional rulers in the area and the Fulani herdsmen to find a lasting solutions to the problem.

Commenting on the attack, the Police Commissioner, Hyacinth Dagala, said four persons were confirmed killed and that some people were speculating that over
20 to 25 persons were killed.

Dagala, who appealed for calm, said a detachment of policemen had been dispatched to Logo to maintain peace, adding further that calm had returned to affected areas.

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