Bandits Kill 10 Residents, Two Policemen in New Attacks on Benue, Zamfara

by Ohepo Ohepo

Terrorists Launch Fresh Attacks On Benue, Zamfara, Kill 10 Residents, Two Police Officers, Destroy Several Houses

Ten people have been killed in fresh attacks on four villages in Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.

The attacks, which happened within the space of three days, also displaced hundreds of residents, who are now taking shelter in the local government headquarters.

The state governor, Hyacinth Alia, however, accused some indigenes of the state of inviting foreign herders, who are wreaking havoc in many communities.

Meanwhile, in Zamfara State, two police officers were gunned down when bandits attacked Zurmi town, Daily Trust reports.

Another set of bandits burnt over 30 houses and scores of cattle during an attack in the Allawa community, Shiroro Local government area of Niger State.

In Yobe State, three ISWAP fighters were killed by troops of the Joint Task Force (North-East) Operation Hadin Kai Sector 2 in Damaturu.

The Nigerian Army said the terrorists were killed when troops responded to a report on the presence of terrorist elements at Maltari village near Kukareta, where they were reportedly extorting Zakat levies from community members.

The victims of the Benue attacks, which killed 10 people in Ikobi Council Ward in Apa LGA, said the incidents happened a few days after the invasion of the Imana community where four people were killed last week.

One of the villagers, who is now displaced as a result of the incident, narrated on phone that nine dead bodies were recovered from the affected communities at the time they fled to take shelter at the Apa LGA headquarters in Ugbokpo.

He said, “Nine persons were killed three days back from attacks on Ibele, Ochumekwu and Ijaha by armed herders. It has been sustained attacks on our people for the past two weeks.

“They have been terrorising us. As I speak with you now, in Ikobi, there is nobody and Ikobi has a population of over one million people. All the people have run away and are right now taking shelter at Ugbokpo, the LGA headquarters.”

Barr Eche Akpoko, who is the chairman of Apa Development Association, confirmed the attacks to Daily Trust.

Akpoko said one more corpse was discovered after the nine found earlier, bringing the number of those killed to 10 so far.
He said of the 10 causalities; five people were killed in Ijaha-Ibele, three in Ochumekwu while the remaining two were killed in Adija and Kano villages respectively.
“I can confirm to you that there was a serial attack on the following communities, Ijaha-Ibele 5, Ochumekwu 3, Adija 1, and Kano 1 all of Apa LGA on 14th, 15th & 16th of February 2024, with a total number of 10 casualties ascertained so far! We condemn the dastardly act in strong terms,” Akpoko said.

The police spokeswoman for Benue Command, SP Catherine Anene, however, said she did not have the report.

‘Benue indigenes inviting foreign herders’
Meanwhile, Governor Hyacinth Alia has accused some indigenes of the state of inviting herders from Niger Republic, who are wreaking havoc in many communities.

Donald Kumun, the Principal Special Assistant to the Governor on Print Media, in a statement in Makurdi, said the governor stated this on Sunday at the Chapel of Grace in the Government House, Makurdi, while addressing congregants after the mass service.

“The security report has revealed that some Benue indigenes have gone out of their way to invite herdsmen from Niger Republic to troop into Benue State, all in the name of bringing down this administration and this is unacceptable. The security agents are doing their work,” he said.

The governor, however, appealed to the people of the state to remain calm, stressing that the security agencies are ready to ensure the safety of all and sundry.

He urged the enemies of the state who were not ready to join hands with his administration to improve the well-being of the people to leave.

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