About 100 suspected Fulani mercenaries late on Saturday and Sunday morning attacked and killed 30 people, mostly women and children, in Guma, Kwande, respecively in Buruku and Keana local government areas of Benue and Nasarawa states.
The PUNCH gathered that the mercenaries attacked Tse-Uosu, Tse-Gbudu Taraka and Branch Umenger villages, all in Mbadwem council ward in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.
In Keana, Iornungun village was attacked while in Kwande the attackers terrorised Jato/Aka and environs just as the villagers at Mbatie, Mbatsease and Mbaatungu Aji, all in the Buruku Local Government Area, were displaced by the invaders.
It was learnt that apart from the 19 persons said to have been killed, several others also sustained injuries even as many others in the area had been rendered homeless.
A fleeing native of Guma, identified simply as Suunen, told one of our correspondents that the gunmen stormed the communities “while the villagers were having their rest after the day’s hard work and started shooting at innocent and defenceless people of the area.”
Suunen added that even members of the neighbouring communities had started fleeing their homes because of the fear that the suspected Fulani militias might decide to attack their communities too.
The Benue State police command’s spokesman, Austin Ezeani, confirmed the attacks but said the police were yet to ascertain the number of people that were killed.
Ezeani said the various divisions were yet to give the casualty figures and promised to release the details as they come in.
Another victim, Terungwa, said his mother narrowly escaped from Mbatie and that the woman had been taking refuge in Yandev in the Gboko Local Government Area.
IN Nasarawa State, 11persons were killed on Sunday during an invasion on Uoosu village in the Keana Local Government Area by the suspected Fulani mercenaries.
Apart from killing the 11, the herdsmen also razed Uoosu village and laid ambushed on the Keana-Korta Road, where they shot at people on sight.
Investigations indicated that the problem began when two Fulani herdsmen were allegedly murdered while grazing on a cassava farm belonging to a Tiv man in a village along the Udei-Daudu Road in Benue State.
The PUNCH also learnt that the deceased herdsmen had been nabbed by the local farmers in an attempt to kill the farmers with cutlass.
It was learnt that the attack on Uoosu village by the Fulani was to avenge the death of two of their kinsmen.
The Nasarawa State Police Public Relations Officer, Ismaila Numan, said only three people were killed and that the command had commenced investigation into the incident.