Renewed herdsmen in Benue state claims 17 lives

Renewed attacks by herdsmen in Benue state has resulted in the death of about 17 people. The attacks on Omutu community in Okpokwu local government area by herdsmen occurred on Monday, barely 24 hours after two persons were killed by herdsmen in Humeger, Guma local government.

A statement by the spokesperson for Benue State Police Command, ASP Moses Yamu, confirmed the attacks adding that the victims were mostly women and children. In the statement made available to reporters, Yamu said the attacks was a reprisal after some youths in the community were accused to have attacked Fulani herdsmen and ‘maimed' some cows. 

"We received information from the security adviser of Okpokwu local government that some irate youths from Omutu engaged some herdsmen in a fight, maiming some cows while two herdsmen were missing. A peace meeting was immediately convened by the Council Chairman and the head of Fulani community in the area while a police search party went in search of the two missing herdsmen, one of whom was found dead," the spokesman said.

He added: "Unfortunately, as the search and peace meeting were on going, some herdsmen went on a rampage, hacking  15 persons – mostly women and children, to death while some houses were set ablaze".

Yamu said four suspects linked to the attacks had been arrested by the police, adding that ‘extensive' patrol of the community was ongoing and to be reinforced by special forces.

The attack comes mere hours after president Buhari said that the Taraba crisis has claimed more lives than the herdsmen attacks in Benue and Zamafara states combined.

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