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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Bandits invade Benue communities, murder two soldiers, others

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Two soldiers have been reportedly killed by gunmen who invaded some communities in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.

The attack on Friday, led to the death of two other civilians, making it a total of four deaths recorded in the attack by the gunmen.

Some of the villages attacked by the armed men include Abugbe, Okokolo, Ugboju, Odugbeho and Olegobidu

Two of the soldiers stationed at the council area on peacekeeping were said to have been shot dead when the armed men ambushed them while on patrol of the areas.

Some natives who spoke with newsmen in connection with the incident, said that the attack had started for a few days until it became worse when the armed men moved to Okokolo and attacked the people.

The lawmaker representing the Agatu state constituency in the state House of Assembly, Godwin Edo confirmed the attacks on Agatu communities, saying two villagers were killed.

Edo said, “Yes, the attack was from herdsmen, It happened yesterday, (Thursday).

“We had casualties, some were injured and we lost some lives. What happened was there were threats of attacks on some villages, Ocholonya and Ugboju K’ Ugbe for the past six days.

“So those people deserted their place and relocated to Okokolo. So it is in Okokolo that herdsmen came to attack them yesterday, (Thursday). Those are the displaced villages for now.

“We lost about two people so far. A lot of people were injured and we are still monitoring their medication.”

In a separate telephone chat, the immediate past Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, Mike Inalegwu, said two soldiers were killed and one missing.

Inalegwu said, “Herdsmen came with their militia and fired guns at Okokolo, Ugboju and Akpa making people run away from their villages. So the soldiers were on patrol when they were ambushed by the armed herdsmen.

“The soldiers were stationed at Akpu, my village in front of my house for the past eight years. When they heard of gunshots, they decided to go and find out where the gunshots came from but while they were patrolling, the herdsmen ambushed them.

“They shot their commander, and two others killed. One of the soldiers is missing.”

Efforts to reach the state Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, were unsuccessful as she didnt take her call.

Meanwhile, Joseph Har, the Special Adviser to the state governors, Hyacinth Alia On Security and Internal Affairs, confirmed the attack but said he had no details.

Har said, “It’s true, there was an attack on Agatu communities yesterday, (Thursday) but I don’t have details for now. However, the deputy governor and security chiefs in the state have gone there for the spot assessment.”

In the previous year, the state witnessed several attacks on several communities.

The state Commissioner for Information, Inelagwu, in 2023 said over 5,000 people were killed in the state within seven years.

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