Gunmen On Rampage In Benue State, Kill 24 On Eid-El-Fitri Day

Gunmen Friday [Jul 17] killed over 24 persons, including a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stalwart  and elder statesman, Chief  Atoza Ihindan, in Katsina/Ala local government area of the state. This is as another set of gunmen killed a family of three when they attacked and killed one Mr Ternongo Ajai, his wife Rebecca, one Iyormanger Nwana and another relation, Ujah all of Gbengen village, in Utange council ward of Katsina/Ala LGA.

A source told THISDAY three armed men riding on a motorbike, ambushed Chief Ihindan at his construction site in Katsina/Ala town on Friday morning around 10am and was shoot repeatedly. "They stormed the place in a commando style, though, the old man had with him, his aide and a police escort who after noticing the armed men, made desperate effort to defend Chief, but he was overpowered by the well armed men who had superior fire power.

"They succeeded in killing the old man after shooting his police escort who was seriously injured and in critical condition at a public hospital in Katsina/Ala at the moment. After successfully executing their assignment, the gang fled and the suspicion is that it was that same gang or members of the same group of bandits that raided a beer parlour at a market square in Tor Donga, last night, where 12 persons including a woman attendant and her one year old baby were killed.

"After raiding and killing their victims at the drinking spot, the gang sped off on their motorbike and continued shooting indiscriminately at any human being they came across, or anyone that dared to stop them and that led to the killing of another seven persons including a teacher in one of the local schools in the community", the source said.

The source who said the killings were recorded in the last 48 hours stressed further that Katsina/Ala LGA was like a town under siege where residents now live in fear. When asked who could be responsible for the bloodbath in the area, the source said "no one is sure of anything now, because so much rumours and stories are flying but we expect the Police to unravel the mystery and stop these unending killings in Katsina/Ala before everyone resort to self-help.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Assistant Superintendent, ASP, Austin Ezeani confirmed the killing of the septuagenarian to THISDAY.

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