The death toll in fresh attack on Gwer West local government area of Benue State rose to 15 with more inhabitants fleeing their homes of abode.
Local inhabitants said the herdsmen came in gorilla warfare manner and attacked four farming communities of Mbapa, Mbapupuu, Mbachohon, and Enger all in Agagbe district of Gwer West local government area.
The attack, it was gathered occurred around 11pm when most people were sleeping pensively.
Some survivors of the attack, Aondoakaa Basil, Torkebbi Yubee and Msughter Anzwa, said most people including women and children have fled their homes following the attack.
One of the locals Aondokaa Basil told New Telegraph that they were woken by gunshots from a neighbouring compound.
“We were sleeping when we heard sudden screaming and gunshots. I immediately woke up and grabbed my 2 children, my wife followed me and we escaped through the bush.
“We could not carry anything because the attack was sudden, there was confusion everywhere because of the sporadic gunshots by the herdsmen.
Some of the people in neighbouring villages, it was learnt had for fear of attack by the herdsmen deserted their homes to seek refuge in Naka, headquarters of the local government.
But the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni said the attack was carried out by bandits who attempted to abduct some Persons resulting to the death of two person.
He said some bandits, highly mobile and specialised in cattle rustling believed to have been chased from Zamfara, where operating in the state.
“We have not witnessed any case of attack on Gwer West communities by herdsmen. What we have is abduction which two persons were killed by some armed bandits”.
“From intelligence report we have, armed marauders who have connections and are highly mobile involve in cattle rustling and transborder criminal activities are operating in the state.
“We have been monitoring the group of bandits which have a network of informants within the state, among the locals and of course herders who specialise in rustling.
“Some of them are criminal elements chased from Zamfara and of course some foreigners’” he noted.
Owoseni said what is happening in the state was infiltration of criminals who are using farmers/ herdsmen crisis as smoke screen to perpetrate crime.
The police helmsman implored herdsmen and farmers to be cautious of the criminal elements who he said usually dress in black attire to perpetrate their crime.