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Over 10 persons were killed on Monday in three communities in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
The incident, according to an eyewitness, took place when residents of the affected communities were leaving the evening church service.
He said the headsmen came into the localities unexpected and unprovoked and began to shoot at anyone in sight.
Over 10 persons were killed in the attack which affected Tse Akaa, Mba’abaji and Tse Orlalu all in Ugondo Mbanar District of Logo Local Government Area of the state. Kester Kyenge, representative of Logo in the state House of Assembly, told journalists on phone that he saw nine corpses in the mortuary adding that several others are missing.
Another source however stated that it was the mass movement of the herders with their cattle that triggered the crisis as the passage by the herders fuelled insinuations that they might be planning to attack the people.
As a result of the development, the villagers were said to have challenged the herders which led to the crisis.
He, however, denied that the villagers’ action triggered the crisis, saying: “Some of the villagers were coming out of evening church service when the herders began to shoot sporadically and in the process, three persons died.”
The source also claim that the attackers came from the Taraba axis, through Abaji, Mbamar, Ugondo and found their way at Akaa, from where they started shooting sporadically at 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 spoke with journalists on the development, said six dead bodies have been recovered in two villages, adding that he would continue to update journalists on the crisis.
He explained that the herders were moving out of the environment when the crisis erupted, and called on the communities along the routes to allow peaceful passage of the herders.
Makama said with the raining season setting in, the possibility of the herders relocating was necessary.
Governor Samuel Ortom who also confirmed the incident, enjoined both the farmers and herders to always show patience, saying: “Two wrongs cannot make a right.”
The state House of Assembly only recently passed a bill to prohibit open grazing of cattle and other livestock in the state