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Gunmen raid Taraba/Benue border villages, kill 11 people

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Gunmen raid Taraba/Benue border villages, kill 11 people

In a devastating attack, unknown gunmen killed eleven people and destroyed houses and properties worth millions of naira in border communities within the Wukari Local Government Area, situated between Taraba and Benue states.

The attack, which occurred in the communities of Apiirgwa and Deke, located in Kente Ward in the southern part of Wukari, has left the residents in a state of panic.

A community leader from Adeke, Tsavyaa Adeke, told our correspondent that the attackers invaded Apiirgwa en masse in the early hours of Saturday around 5:00 AM, while the victims were still asleep, and began shooting sporadically.

“The villagers, upon hearing the gunshots, scattered for safety, but eight people were killed on the spot, while others escaped with gunshot injuries,” Adeke said.

Mr. Aondowase Tarorshi, chairman of the Wukari Local Government Area branch of the Tiv Cultural and Social Association, explained that eight people were killed in Apiirgwa village, two in Tse-Deke, a remote village about three kilometers from Wukari town along Wukari-Kente Road where Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had recently resettled, and one person was killed in Tarorshi, along Wukari-Rafinka Road.

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Tarorshi disclosed that the bodies of the eight people killed in Apiirgwa and the two in Deke have been recovered and buried, while the corpse of the person killed along Rafinka Road has yet to be recovered.

The victims were identified as Daniel Apirgwa, Saater Apirgwa, Terna Apirgwa, Nguyiman Apirgwa, Tertindi Apirgwa, Kparegh Emmanuel Apirgwa, Mama Modi Apirgwa, Myom Chiahemba Tarorshi, Tyolumun Deke, and Ternenge Deke, also known as Usman.

The attack on Apiirgwa was reported to the troops in the area, who visited the scene and instructed the bereaved to bury the victims.

Though Apiirgwa is a border village of Benue State, most of the residents are IDPs from Taraba State. This attack has worsened the challenges faced by these people. Thousands of youths here are now restless, and children have been out of school for a long time.

“I appeal to the Governor of Taraba State, Dr. Agbu Kefas, and his team to address this crisis. The governor should establish immediate measures to resettle the thousands of IDPs who fled the area following the Jukun and Tiv crisis. I believe that resettling the IDPs in their homes will reduce the frequency of these reckless attacks that are taking the lives of our young men,” Tarorshi said.

Although the chairman of the local government, Hon. Dauda Samaila, could not be reached for comment, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gambo Kwache, confirmed the attacks but stated that only two people were killed by the unknown assailants.

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