Herdsmen kill 13, steal cattle in Benue attack

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Suspected herdsmen have killed 13 persons in a renewed attack on Itskpa community in the Obi Local Government Area of Benue State.

According to eyewitness who said the suspected  herdsmen, numbering eight, invaded the area with AK-47 rifles in four motorcycles around 9pm on Sunday and began to shoot, killing many people, while other members of the community ran for safety.

Among those killed in the community were a ward chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Augustine Abbey, and two women.

However, a native in the area, said the suspected herdsmen live on the fringes of the council and Ebonyi State.

“The armed herders did not only kill people, they also broke into ranches belonging to two prominent sons of Obi and stole all the cattle in the ranches,” the native, who did not want to be identified, said.

The first class chief in Igede land, His Royal Highness, Oga Ero, confirmed the incident to our correspondent.

According to the traditional ruler, the suspected herdsmen earlier in May attacked Echori and killed two people.

“But the latest attack was on Sunday when they attacked Itakpa around 9pm when the people were already in their home relaxing.

“They shot and killed 13 people in Itskpa community. Many people were wounded and currently receiving treatment at General Hospital, Ibarike Ito.

“The Itakpa people do not have any problem with these herdsmen; so, it’s an unprovoked attack,” the traditional ruler said.

The monarch, however, commended the state government for promptly deploying more troops in the troubled community.

Meanwhile, police in the state  said  two corpses were found in the area.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, said the police authorities had visited the site.

“When we got to the area, two corpses were found in somebody’s farm. We searched the whole area and found nothing again.

“So, the Commissioner of Police went back to the community and asked where the other corpses were?

“The villagers claimed that in their culture they don’t show corpses to the police; so, we cannot confirm what we did not see,” Anene said.

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