At least 24 people, including a herdsman, were on Monday killed as Fulani herdsmen launched a reprisal attack on Omutu community in Okpokwu local government area of Benue state.
The council chairman, Olofu Ogwuche, disclosed this while conducting state governor, Samuel Ortom, round the affected community on Tuesday.
He said most of the victims were women and children.
The governor and members of state security council had visited Omusu Edimoga for an on-the-spot assessment.
Mr. Ogwuche said the herdsmen had reported to the council the loss of their cows some kilometers from the affected village.
The chairman said he was mediating in the crisis when he learnt that herdsmen had invaded the village and killed some people.
It is understood that the herdsmen invaded the community between 2pm and 3pm on Monday, allegedly killing some children returning from school.
Earlier, Benue State Command spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu, had said that 16 persons were killed.
He also stated that the attack was a reprisal after some youths in the community went berserk, attacked Fulani herdsmen and ‘maimed’ some cows.
He said, “We received information from the security adviser of Okpokwu local government that some irate youths from Omutu engaged some herdsmen in a fight, maiming some cows while two herdsmen were missing.
“A peace meeting was immediately convened by the Council Chairman and the head of Fulani community in the area while a police search party went in search of the two missing herdsmen, one of whom was found dead.”
“Unfortunately, as the search and peace meeting were on going, some herdsmen went on a rampage, hacking 15 persons – mostly women and children, to death while some houses were set ablaze.
Four suspects had been arrested in connection with the killings, the police spokesman said.
The latest killings comes within 24 hours after two persons were killed by Fulani herdsmen in Humeger, Guma local government area of the state.