Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than 11 persons have allegedly been killed by suspected gunmen in Ngibo and Tse-Aye villages in Ikyurav-Tiev 1 council ward of Katsina-Ala Local government area of Benue State, in the early hours of Saturday.
According to sources from the communities, the gunmen, who also allegedly rustled 28 cattle belonging to one Barr. Agwaza Atedze, were said to have killed four persons at Ngibo village and seven persons at Tse Aye village.
The armed bandits, who were said to have stormed the two villages on motorcycles between the hours of 3am and 4am, wasted no time in shooting sporadically in all directions before jumping on their motorcycles and rode away unchallenged.
Following the development, people of the affected communities, it was gathered have been moving out in droves for fear of another attack, even as the remains of the deceased victims had been deposited at the Katsina-Ala General Hospital.
When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) DSP Catherine Anene, who confirmed the report, said the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Katsina-Ala sent in the report to the headquarters and that the command had already mobilized her men to the area to calm the situation.
The police spokeswoman, however, could not confirm the casualty figure, saying that the Command was awaiting for details from the affected communities.
Also confirming the report, Force Commander of the Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini said the clash was between the Shitile and Ikyurav people of the area, adding that his troops were already in the area to maintain peace, law and order.