Armed assailants reportedly attacked the Iwili community in Umogidi Ward and Entekpa community, both located in the Adoka District of Otukpo Local Government Area in Benue State.
The assault on Umogidi occurred just a year after a similar attack in which many people lost their lives.
According to Ada Ocholi, a local legal practitioner, the armed attackers came from the Agatu area to Otukpo LGA.
Ocholi stated, “Yesterday, four bodies were still in the bush and had not been recovered yet. The exact number of bodies retrieved is uncertain because I was in contact with our youth leader who informed me that they encountered many armed men in the bush, some of whom were on trees with sophisticated weapons.”
Another source from the area revealed that the attacks resulted in several injuries, and the affected villages have been deserted as residents fled to avoid further violence.
The attacks began on Saturday and continued until Monday.
The source added, “The attackers came from Agatu, an area they have been targeting since the beginning of the year. They accessed Iwili community in Umuogidi through Upaha in Apa LGA and also attacked Entekpa.”
Alfred Omakwu, the Chairman of Otukpo LGA, confirmed that seven bodies had been recovered by Tuesday afternoon, with assistance from soldiers. The search for more bodies was ongoing with military support.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Catherine Anene, stated she had not received any information about the incident.
This incident follows previous attacks in the Agatu Local Government Area, where suspected armed herders killed several people. Godwin Edoh, the state House of Assembly representative for Agatu State Constituency, expressed frustration over the ongoing attacks, criticizing both the federal and state governments for their inability to halt the violence.
Several communities, including Ogwumogbo, Ikpele, Okokolo, and Ejima, have been targeted in the past three weeks. At least 20 people, including three security personnel, were reported killed in previous attacks, leading residents to flee the affected areas.