A community in Benue state came under heavy attack from unknown gunmen with the assailants killing no fewer than seven persons.
According to reports, the gunmen launched the attack on Tor Donga in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the State.
During the attack, the gunmen killed five other people including a Catholic priest identified as Rev. Fr. Ajoko Micheal of St. John’s Parish Kasar and an Igbo woman, who was injured.
In the attack that occurred on Thursday evening, November 18, Four members of the recently formed Benue Community Volunteer Guards were among the seven killed.
The deceased security operatives have been identified as Tersoo Nyamkem, Ornyar Kwaghtagher, Ortwer Vendagough, and Iorzua Joseph Denen.
Others include Oryina Orhirga, Saidu Ado (a vulcanizer), and a young man in the vehicle with Rev. Fr. Ajoko.
Confirming the incident in a statement, the chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government, Alfred Atera said the gunmen were local bandits who were remnants of the Azonto group.
“Bandits came to Tor Donga yesterday (Thursday) evening and killed seven persons. They killed Volunteer Guards members, injured two of them, then killed some other persons too on their way as they shot sporadically.”
“Five injured persons are in the hospital including a Reverend father from Mbatseer who was going to Tor Donga. They met him (Catholic Priest), shot at him, and killed the person in the car with him. The incident happened between 5 pm and 5:30 pm
“They (the attackers) are the final remnants of Azonto army because the volunteer guards said they saw one Sonter who was driving the car that they came in with. The volunteer guards blocked the road when they saw them but they don’t have anything to protect themselves so they ran away as the bandits approached.
A military source who did not want to be named also confirmed the attack to Nigerian Tribune on Friday.
The source said:
“Unknown gunmen in a moving vehicle, on Thursday at about 4:40 pm at Tor Donga in Katsina-Ala local government area, forced themselves through the vigilante checkpoint along Katsina-Ala/Tor Donga road.”
The military source added that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) who were alerted about the ugly development raced to the area but that the bandits had escaped before they got there.