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Scores killed as ‘rival militia groups’ clash in Benue

Benue attack Benue attack

Scores of people have been reported killed following a clash between rival militia groups in Benue state.

The clash was said to have occurred on Tuesday in Ukum LGA of the state.

A family of seven were reportedly caught in the crossfire and were killed.

A traditional ruler who pleaded anonymity said the clash began after a militia leader from Ukum, abducted members of another group in the neighbouring Chinkai community in Wukari LGA of Taraba, and demanded ransom.

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“After kidnapping them, he asked for N100 million ransom but he was given N5 million. After collecting the money, he killed the hostages,” The Punch quoted the traditional ruler as saying.

“The murder of the hostages sparked outrage among his gang members in Taraba state. This happened over the weekend.

“What followed was that another militia gang leader in Ukum now went and joined forces with the Fulani militia gang in Taraba to help them eliminate the rival gang in Ukum that killed their leader.

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“The essence was to enable him to be the head of the militia in Ukum.

“The combined forces of Fulani and Tiv militia gangs started moving into the bushes of Gbagir in their hundreds on Sunday to sack the gang that killed the leader and on Tuesday morning, the bloody fight ensued.

“From what we gathered, over 40 persons who were mainly bandits have been killed, though we have a record of about 12 farmers who were caught in the crossfire. Over 30 others were injured while some are also missing.

“Sadly, caught in the crossfire was a family of seven in Tse Adzandeh Mbasaa, Mbajiga, Ityuluv, Torov. They were all members of the Adzandeh family.”

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WE RECOVERED EIGHT CORPSES, SAY POLICE

Catherine Anene, spokesperson of the Benue police command, told TheCable that the police recovered eight corpses.

She said the police received information of an attack in the bushes and when they arrived, there was no one but the dead bodies.

The police spokesperson said the force was yet to ascertain if the attack was carried out by bandits or members of militia groups, adding that investigation is ongoing.

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“We received information that there was an attack somewhere in the bush in Okum. By the time we got there, eight corpses were recovered but nobody was found in the area,” Anene told TheCable.

“We are not sure whether they are bandits or members of militia groups, but investigation is ongoing and all of that will be revealed later.”

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