Gunmen strike again, kill 8 in Benue communities

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Suspected herdsmen reportedly attacked several communities in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State on Saturday, resulting in the tragic loss of eight lives.

The affected communities, including Ogwumogbo, Ikpele, and Ejima, according to reports, witnessed residents fleeing their homes as insecurity continues to plague the region.

Agatu has been a consistent target for armed herders’ attacks over the past two weeks, with both troops and civilians falling victim to the violence.

Gatekeeper reported that on January 18, 2024, five people, including three troops, were ambushed and killed.

Major General Sunday Igbinowanhia, the Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, confirmed the incident, stating that the troops engaged in a three-hour gun duel, successfully repelling the armed herders.

Another attack, just five days later, was confirmed by former Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mike Inalegwu, resulting in the deaths of two individuals.

The latest attack on Saturday, which is the third within two weeks, reportedly lasted four hours, with armed herders raiding multiple communities.

Residents of Ogwumogbo, Ikpele, and Ejima were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in the forest.

Godwin Edoh, the member representing Agatu state constituency in the Benue State Assembly, expressed frustration at the persistent violence, stating that despite all efforts, the killings have persisted.

“It’s true. These attackers invaded the three communities of Ogwumogbo, Ikpele, and Ejima on Saturday between 12 and 4 pm, and they sacked the people. Eight people were killed in this latest attack, and several more are still missing.

“No one is coming to our aid, and the governor is quiet. I do not understand this,” he stated.

When contacted, Benue State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Catherine Anene, said she did not have the specific report.

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