Gunmen have reportedly killed four people, including two soldiers, in a series of attacks on communities in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.
According to reports, the armed men targeted villages such as Abugbe, Okokolo, Ugboju, Odugbeho, and Olegobidu.
The assailants ambushed two soldiers who were stationed in the area for peacekeeping during their patrol of the affected communities, resulting in their untimely deaths.
The attacks have escalated over the past few days, with Okokolo being a recent target where residents have faced threats from armed herders.
Confirming the incidents, Godwin Edo, the lawmaker representing the Agatu state constituency in the state House of Assembly, stated that the attackers were herdsmen.
Edo reported casualties, including injuries and loss of lives, as residents abandoned their villages due to the persistent threats.
Edo told Punch: “Yes, the attack was from herdsmen; it happened yesterday (Thursday).
“We had casualties; some were injured, and we lost some lives. What happened was there were threats of attacks on some villages, Ocholonya and Ugboju K’ Ugbe, for the past six days.
“So those people deserted their place and relocated to Okokolo. So it is in Okokolo that herdsmen came to attack them yesterday (Thursday). Those are the displaced villages for now.
“We lost about two people so far. A lot of people were injured, and we are still monitoring their medication.”
Mike Inalegwu, the immediate past Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, also provided details of the attacks, mentioning that the soldiers were ambushed by armed herdsmen while on patrol.
He said the soldier’s commander was shot, two others were killed, and one soldier is currently missing.
Inalegwu said, “Herdsmen came with their militia and fired guns at Okokolo, Ugboju and Akpa, making people run away from their villages. So the soldiers were on patrol when they were ambushed by the armed herdsmen.
“The soldiers were stationed at Akpu, my village in front of my house for the past eight years. When they heard gunshots, they decided to go and find out where the gunshots came from, but while they were patrolling, the herdsmen ambushed them.
“They shot their commander, and two others killed. One of the soldiers is missing.”