43 die in fresh attacks on Benue communities

Forty-three people were killed while about 50 houses were burnt in fresh attacks on some communities in Benue State in the last 48 hours.

On Tuesday, about 13 people, including a three-month-old baby, were killed in two separate attacks on communities of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

The attack came barely 24 hours after eight persons, including two aid workers, were killed by suspected herdsmen in the same local government area.

Local sources said a bus loaded with some mourners, who were returning from a burial at Umenger, was attacked by gunmen around Torkula village, resulting in the death of three persons, while two others who were shot are currently receiving treatment at the hospital in Makurdi.

The deceased three-month-old-baby was said to have been shot in the chest, while his mother, who narrowly survived the attack, was also shot on the lap.

Also, the Udei Branch community was said to have been attacked on Tuesday night by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen during which eight people were reportedly killed.

Confirming the attacks on his council, Chairman of Guma LGA, Caleb Abs, said 13 people were killed in two separate attacks on Udei Branch and Torkula.

“It is true that there was an attack yesterday. There was a burial in Torkula and people who were coming back from the burial came under attack and about five people were killed.

“At about 10pm, yesterday, there was another attack at Branch Ude where about eight people were killed, totalling about 13 people, only yesterday.

“Two people were injured according to the information I received, and they are now receiving treatment in the hospital,” Aba said.

When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, said she was yet to be briefed on the attack and promised to call Daily Sun back as soon as she gets the information.

In a related development, several people are feared killed in a renewed communal crisis between Ochoro and Bonta communities of Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State.

Sometime in April, this year, the Bonta-Okpute crisis escalated resulting in the killing of 12 soldiers who were deployed to the area to maintain peace and order.

This eventually led to the military sacking Bonta and adjourning communities to recover arms of the murdered soldiers.

There had been normalcy in the area since then until this fresh crisis in Ochoro, a neighbouring village, on Monday, in which local sources alleged that over 30 persons, including children and women were killed.

Also, our sources who did not want to be named, claimed that 50 houses were also burnt in the crisis.

When contacted by telephone, Chairman of Oju LGA, Clement Ona, said although he was aware of the crisis, it didn’t happen in his council, but in Konshisha LGA.

On his part, Council Chairman of Konshisha, James Ijirgba, confirmed the fresh crisis in his council, but added that he was awaiting a full briefing by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the area.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Benue, DSP Catherine Anene, said she was yet to be briefed on the crisis. – Punch.

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