Deadly Clash Between Rival Militia Groups Claims Dozens of Lives in Benue State

Tragedy struck the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State as a fierce clash between rival militia groups resulted in the loss of at least 40 lives. Among the casualties were members of the warring factions, a family of seven, and several farmers caught in the crossfire.

The violence erupted when a terrorist gang leader reportedly hired external bandits to invade the Gbagir community in Ukum LG, aiming to oust another militia gang leader. The conflict escalated following the kidnapping and subsequent killing of hostages by a militia leader, sparking outrage among rival gang members.

According to a local traditional ruler, the bloody confrontation intensified on Tuesday morning as combined forces of Fulani and Tiv militia gangs clashed in the bushes of Gbagir. The ensuing battle left over 30 persons injured, many declared missing, and a family of seven tragically caught in the crossfire.

Although the exact number of casualties remains uncertain, Nyiyongo Ezra, the lawmaker representing Ukum State Constituency, confirmed the death toll to be around 20. Efforts to reach Major General Sunday Igbinomwanhia, the Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke, were unsuccessful, but a military source attributed the attacks to local militiamen, emphasizing efforts to restore calm and protect innocent civilians.

State Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Adesina, disclosed that additional officers have been deployed to the area, with ongoing efforts to search for victims and maintain peace amidst the turmoil.


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