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Army, LG chair disagree over alleged gunmen attack on Benue communities

There is conflicting reports regarding reported attack on Mbaiiikyor council of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, by suspected gunmen.

On Sunday night, it was reported that some gunmen invaded no fewer than 10 villages in Mbaiiikyor council of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, shooting sporadically as they ravaged the communities.  

The attack on the communities were said to have occurred around 7:00pm, shooting and burning down houses.

Caretaker chairman of the council, Mr. Tertsua Yarkarn, who cinfirmed the attack, said that causalities could not be immediately ascertained but that many people have been displaced.

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Yarkarn, who had earlier raised alarm of planned attack on Jato Aka, further said that the current destruction carried out in his area by the attackers was massive.

He added in a text message, “At the Mbaiikyor council ward, over 10 villages overrun by herdsmen. There is need for urgent security intervention and relief material.”

But when contacted, the Force Commander of Operation WHIRL STROKE (OPWS), MaJ.-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, dismissed the claim of an attack in the area stressing, however, that there were two different groups of security operatives including his men on ground in the area.

Gen. Yekini said, “These are all rumours. There are troops on ground and the story is false,” adding that his troops have consistently been following the rumoured planned attack in the area in the past three days including the 73 Nigerian Army of Taraba State just as he blamed any panic in the affected place on an alleged recent rustling of cows belonging to some herders.

However, the council chairman insisted that an attack on his people was carried out on the said date even as he emphasised that a few weeks ago, herders attacked Tyungu Timbee community as well and that if it were a reprisal, it should have been Kwande people retaliating and not the herders wanting to take a pound of flesh”.