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Death toll in Fulani herdsmen, Tiv clash hits 15

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John Charles, Makurdi

Fifteen persons were reportedly killed on Sunday when Fulani herdsmen attacked three communities in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.

The communities attacked include Tse Akaa, Mba’abaji and Tse Orlalu all in Ugondo Mbanar District of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.

Sources told our correspondent on Monday that dead bodies of some missing persons were recovered in different parts of the affected communities.

Governor Samuel Ortom had earlier confirmed the attack on the communities while speaking with newsmen in his office in Makurdi on Monday but did not disclose the casualty figure.

Ortom enjoined both the farmers and the herders to always show patience, saying, “two wrongs cannot make a right.”

Our correspondent reliably gathered that trouble started on Sunday afternoon when the villagers challenged the herdsmen who were moving their cattle away from the area.

Sources said that the herdsmen’s movement raised fear among the villagers who thought that the herdsmen were planning to go and reinforce to later attack the villages.

An eyewitness, who identified himself as Terver, said the herdsmen allegedly attacked the villagers at the time some of them were coming out from Sunday evening service.

He, however, denied that the villagers provoked the herdsmen.

According to Terver, several persons were injured and many others went missing after the attack, adding that many of the villagers had fled and some were taking refuge at a neighbouring village.

The source alleged that the attackers came from the Taraba axis, through Abaji, Mbamar, Ugondo and came out through Akaa, shooting sporadically in the village market square.

The displaced persons were said to have moved to Ugba, the headquarters of the local government area.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashir Makama, who later spoke with newsmen, said six dead bodies were recovered in two villages adding that he would continue to update newsmen on further development.

Makama, who noted that the herders were moving out of the environment when the crisis erupted, called on the communities along the routes to allow the herders to pass through their villages peacefully.

He said with the raining season setting in, the herders were likely to be relocating.

Meanwhile, a gunman, identified only as Solomon, has shot dead one person in the Agber area of Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

The incident, which occurred on Saturday, left two other persons critically injured.

An eyewitness said the gunman walked into the community in the early hours of Saturday and started shooting sporadically in the area during which a member of the vigilante group in Agber Village and two other persons were shot.

The source described the gunman as a notorious criminal who lived around the area but was forcibly ejected about a year ago.

The dead vigilante member was said to be a commercial motorcyclist and married with children.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, confirmed the incident, identifying the attacker as an ex-convict, who he said was at large but that the police were already on his trail.

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