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Armed herders kill two, raze houses in Benue community



Gunmen suspected to be armed herders have reportedly attacked two communities, Ikpele and Okpokpolo, in the Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, leaving two people dead and several houses burnt down.

The attack, which occurred on Tuesday night, has sparked fear and panic in the area.

The attack comes barely a week after suspected armed herders launched an attack on some communities in the same local government area, leading to the death of three soldiers and two others.

The Force Commander of the Operation Whirl Stroke, Maj. Gen. Sunday Igbinowanhia, confirmed the attack and said that two soldiers and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were killed while preventing the attack in Okokolo.

According to a source from the affected community, who simply identified himself as Oche, “another attack happened on Tuesday night.

They (gunmen) attacked Ikpele and Okpokpolo and other places yesterday night throughout and we are yet to get the exact number of persons killed.

There was a serious battle till around 10 pm, two bodies have so far been recovered.

Many houses were burnt. In fact, within the attacked community yesterday in the night, at least 17 burnt houses were counted.”

Former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mike Inalegwu, who hails from the local government, confirmed the attack and said that tension was high in the council area.

On Tuesday the armed herdsmen attacked Okpokpolo village and killed two persons while the villagers were thinking of their speculative attack on the Ogbai community.

Tension is high and the seven villages in Kogi border of the local government are deserted. This is authoritative,” he said.

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The Police Public Relations Officer in Benue State, Catherine Anene, said she had yet to receive the information.

However, the Special Adviser to Governor Hyacinth Alia on Security and Internal Affairs, Joseph Har, confirmed the attack but said he was not told that people were killed.

The affected communities deserve justice and support in the aftermath of this tragic incident.

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