At least 15 persons have been feared dead in fresh crisis between herdsmen and farmers in Turan communities in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
This is even as the operatives of the State Police Command have claimed that two bodies had been recovered from the affected communities.
Vanguard Newspaper reports that the renewed crisis has led to the disappearance of many persons, while several houses, huts and farmlands have also been razed in the besieged communities.
Speaking on the incident, a resident of one of the affected communities disclosed that trouble started on Sunday morning after men suspected to be armed herdsmen invaded Ikyoawen, where four persons were reportedly killed and houses razed.
The resident continued: “After that attack, they moved into Nzaav and Alaba in Yaav council ward, where over 11 persons were hacked to death and several houses burnt down by the herdsmen.
“Though the affected communities have been deserted, we are still searching in the bushes for many missing persons, including women and children.
“We also realised that the attackers have occupied the sacked communities without resistance. As we speak, several of the houses are still on fire.”
Reacting to the incident, the National Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Alhaji Garus Gololo, said he was not aware of the presence of herdsmen in the affected communities.
He said: “If anything is happening there, it would certainly be the handiwork of criminal elements, who are bent on frustrating the efforts of the government to ensure peaceful co-existence in the state.”
Also speaking, the Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, said:
“We heard that Alaba and Mande Ordue communities in Yaav council ward of Kwande council were under attack by suspected herdsmen.”
“Mobile policemen have been deployed to the area as two persons, including 65-year-old Keemo Anumen and 46-year-old Tervershima Dado, have so far been confirmed dead and their corpses deposited at the NKST morgue in Jato Aka.”