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Herdsmen Wreck Havoc In Benue, Kill 38 Women, Children 51, Others Injured

Armed men suspected to be herders on Friday invaded a camp of internally-displaced persons in Benue killing mostly women and children.

The attackers reportedly broke into a primary school harbouring the displaced citizens in Nyiev Ward, Guma Local Government Area, around 7:00 p.m., according to a witness who spoke on the attack.

“They arrived from different sides of the community and started killing people in the camp,” the witness, who identified himself as Ihembe Tyubee, said by telephone on Saturday morning.

“They even chased some people who broke out of the camp to the road and killed them there.”

Pregnant women and children were among the fatalities, the witness added, emphasising that the attackers spoke Fulfude, the language of Fulani ethnic nationalities.

At least 51 people were said to have been evacuated to the state’s medical centre in Makurdi after being mortally injured by the assailants, who immediately fled the scene.

The victims were residents who had fled their villages to the camps following previous attacks that gripped the vast agrarian region in central Nigeria.

A police spokesperson in Benue said the command was aware of the attack but declined to provide additional details as to how it happened and the possible location of suspects.

A spokesman for Governor Samuel Ortom said the governor had been briefed about the matter and would issue a statement later.

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The state has endured attacks from killer herdsmen over the past six years amid disputes over available lands for farming and grazing.

Mr Ortom’s administration signed a law that prohibited open grazing across the state, saying it would also curtail the movement of potential attackers.

The governor said his policy engendered a reduction in the frequency of the carnage by the killer pastoralists, many of whom remained largely unknown and whose activities had been repeatedly condemned by the association of herders, MACBAN.

The latest attack came about a month after the same LGA was attacked by suspected herdsmen, leaving at least 15 villagers killed.

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