From Uche Nnorom Makurdi
Not less than six persons were reportedly killed on Christmas eve as unknown gun men invaded Utonkon village in Ado local government area of Benue state.
The attackers also, left several others seriously injured while many have declared missing.
However, the Benue state Police command confirmed two (2) deaths in the attack.
Our correspondent gathered from an eyewitness that the armed men numbering over four(4) stormed the community on motorbikes while some of the locals were busy sharing meat they had bought for the Yuletide celebration.
According to him, “I had gone to the village to visit a friend at about 2pm when suddenly, we saw about four (4) men on motorbikes, armed with pump action riffles shooting sporadically at the people who were busy sharing the meat they bought for the Christmas festivity.
“People were scampering for safety, women and children were crying and running into nearby bushes to take cover but about six(6) persons were not so lucky as they were gunned down in cold blood.
“The armed men at a point came down from their bikes and started moving from one compound to another, as if they were searching for something or somebody, shooting at anything in sight including animals.”
“Shortly after, they all mounted their bikes and fled.
“As we speak, the injured have been rushed to the General hospital in Igumale while the injured are also receiving treatment.
“Presently, Utonkon village is in mourning, the people are fleeing their homes to neighbouring villages for safety for fear that the attackers may return and cause more mayhem.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent, ASP, Moses Yamu who confirmed the incident said only two(2) deaths were recorded during the attack while five others sustained injuries.
Yamu said, “the information at my disposal indicated that the attack was carried out by two yet-to- be identified gunmen who stormed the village on motorbikes. But investigation into the matter has commenced.”