Yet-to-be-identified gunmen invaded Zaki Akpuuna 1 and Diom communities of Mbaterem district in the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State, killing 24 residents.
It was gathered that the gunmen, suspected to be bandits, invaded the communities around 8am on Saturday, July 8, 2023.
Locals said the attackers also burnt several houses in adjourning villages.
The council Chairman, Mr Kartyo Tyoumbur, confirmed that 24 bodies were recovered from the two attacked villages.
“I learnt that after they attacked Akpuuna and Diom, the armed gang went to Tine-Nune community on Zaki Biam-Wukari Road, where the military confronted them,” he said.
“Though no one knows how many of them were killed, I believe some of them must have been neutralised in that exchange.”
The chairman, who decried the attack, said no one knew the motive behind it.
Spokesperson of the state police command, SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the attack in a statement on Saturday.
“Today 8/7/2023 around 12pm, a militia gang invaded Akpuna village, Ukum LGA of Benue State, and shot sporadically. Upon receipt of this information, police teams, in collaboration with other security agencies, rushed to the area and engaged these bandits, who were eventually repelled,” the PPRO stated.
“Eight corpses were recovered at the scene while many other injured persons were taken to a hospital for treatment. Operation is ongoing in the area.”