As many as 25 persons have been reportedly killed in a Benue State community, causing terror in the area.
They were killed in an early Saturday morning attack by unknown gunmen, on Imande Mbakange and other neighbouring communities in Mbacher Council Ward of Kastina-Ala Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state.
The attackers who were reported to have razed many houses and farmlands in the affected communities also inflicted injuries on many survivors of the attack.
It was gathered from a source in the area that the gunmen invaded the communities at about 4am when the people were still in bed, shooting sporadically to wake the people from sleep.
He said: “The gunshots woke the people from sleep and as they made efforts to flee for their lives, anyone they caught up with was killed.
“As they killed the people, they also set their houses and nearby farmland on fire. As we speak the place is like a war zone. The communities have been deserted and residents of neighbouring communities are also fleeing for fear of being attacked.”
Confirming the development, the Chairman of Kastina-Ala LGA, Mr. Alfred Atera who condemned the attack appealed to security agencies to intensify patrols in the communities to end the carnage.
The Chairman in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Tsar Tartor said “in the early hours of Saturday there was an attack on Imande Mbakange community and other neighbouring communities in Mbacher Council Ward by unknown gunmen which claimed at least 25 lives and left several others injured and houses burnt with properties worth millions.
“The Chairman describe the senseless killings by the unknown gunmen as inhumane and barbaric and calls on all security formations to double their efforts in combating the renewed attacks as a matter of urgency. The chairman calls on security operatives to intensify surveillance in the areas prone to attacks to avert further breakdown of law within the Local Government.
“The Chairman while expressing his profound sympathy to families of the victims, promises to continue to support and implement every lawful means in a bid to permanently end the senseless killings of innocent people of Katsina-Ala Local Government and all her inhabitants.”
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene confirmed the attack but said she was yet to receive full details of the incident.