Fresh attacks reported in Benue communities

Armed persons on Thursday night attacked villages around Anyiin, a major town in Logo Local Government Area, LGA, that serves as a base for special forces and has one of the biggest IDP camps.

Residents in Anyiin reported heavy gunshots from attacks in nearby villages Thursday night.

At least five persons were in critical condition from gunshot wounds in the attacks by suspected herdsmen, according to residents’ accounts.

Residents said Nigerian soldiers who were alerted about the attacks brought five villagers who were critically wounded to the hospital in Anyiin.

“They’re at NKST Hospital now in Anyiin,” Terkura Suswam, a politician and founder of Ashi Polytechnic in Anyiin, told our correspondent by telephone.

One of the villages is Tsukwa, which was amongst those attacked on January 1. The village recorded up to 10 casualties in that attack, according to residents.

Tsukwa is about a mile from Anyiin, which has a police special forces unit and one of the biggest camps for the internally displaced persons in Benue State.

Commander of the special forces, Mr Ibrahim Ignatius, however said he was not aware of the attack because he is in Makurdi, the state capital.

Divisional Police Officer of Anyiin Division, Mr Celestine Utim, told Our correspondent he was trying to find out what happened.

Another Anyiin resident who confirmed the attack was Mr Alijah Auna, secretary of the IDP camp there.

“Yes, they’ve been attacking villages around Anyiin this night,” Auna said.

“Many people at the camp here have started running away.”

“But I am still at the camp,” he added.

It was not immediately clear the number of villages attacked Thursday night.

Witnesses said the attackers had fled before soldiers arrived at some of the villages.

Scores of villagers were killed in the January 1 attacks in Logo LGA. Survivors have remained largely at various IDP camps in the local government because their villages are still not safe for their return, despite the police’s assertions that the areas had been secured.

PT

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