From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than 30 persons were feared killed during an attack on Odugbeho community of Agatu Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue state by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, on Sunday evening.
Several other members of the community were also said to have been injured in the attack which reportedly lasted for over one hour.
Chairman of the council, Adoyi Suleiman, who confirmed the attack to newsmen by telephone, yesterday, disclosed that 27 corpses have, so far, been recovered with some already buried.
He explained that security agencies, including troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) and the police were already on ground to ensure peace, normalcy and security in the area.
Suleiman, however, noted that the development had made many residents of the community flee for their lives to safer havens with some of them currently taking refuge in Ogbaulu community.
It was gathered from local sources that the herdsmen attacked the community during a burial ceremony, on Sunday, which was also a market day.
Our sources said the herdsmen, who were believed to have crossed into the state from Nasarawa state, invaded the community and wasted no time in shooting sporadically into the crowd at both the venue of the burial and the market square.
When contacted, the Police Command confirmed the attack in a terse statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene.
“Agatu attack is confirmed and the Commissioner of Police has deployed more police officers to manage the incident and forestall further breakdown of law and order.
“Number of victims is yet to be ascertained as officers are still engaged in stabilising the area,” Anene said.