Posted by Cephas Iorhemen | 7 April 2018 | 2,331 times
The death toll in fresh attack on Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State yesterday rose to 15 with more inhabitants reportedly fleeing their homes to neighbouring villages. Local inhabitants said the herdsmen came in guerilla warfare manner and attacked four farming communities of Mbapa, Mbapupuu, Mbachohon, and Enger all in Agagbe district of Gwer West Local Government Area. The attack, it was gathered, occurred around 11pm when most people were sleeping. However, the Police Command said yesterday that it had recovered 10 corpses of villagers killed by suspected armed bandits in Tse-Audu and Enger villages in Gwer West Local Government Area of the state. Some survivors of the attack, Aondoakaa Basil, Torkebbi Yubee and Msughter Anzwa, said most people including women and children fled their homes following the attack. One of the locals, Basil, told Saturday Telegraph that they were woken by gun shots from a neighbouring compound. He said: “We were sleeping when we heard sudden screaming and gunshots. I immediately woke up and grabbed my two children, my wife followed me and we escaped through the bush.
“We could not carry anything because the attack was sudden, there was confusion everywhere because of the sporadic gunshots by the herdsmen.” Some of the people in neighbouring villages, it was learnt, had for fear of attack by the herdsmen, deserted their homes to seek refuge in Naka, headquarters of the local government. But the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the attack was carried out by bandits who attempted to abduct some persons resulting in the death of two persons.
He said some bandits, highly mobile and specialised in cattle rustling believed to have been chased from Zamfara State, where operating in the state. “We have not witnessed any case of attack on Gwer West communities by herdsmen. What we have is abduction and two persons were killed by some armed bandits. “From intelligence report we have, armed marauders who have connections and are highly mobile involved in cattle rustling and transborder criminal activities are operating in the state. “We have been monitoring the group of bandits which has a network of informants within the state, among the locals and of course herders who specialise in rustling. Some of them are criminal elements chased from Zamfara and of course some foreigners,” he noted.
Owoseni said what was happening in the state was infiltration of criminals who are using farmers/herdsmen crisis as smoke screen to perpetrate crime. (Saturday Telegraph)
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