Three people were killed in the early hours of Wednesday, in Jootar community of Ukum Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State by alleged Jukun militia. Switch Nigeria gathered that the militia stormed the border town at 4:00am, killed three while residents flew for their safety as the miltia were shooting sporadically in the community.
The Chairman of Ukum LGA, Tor-Tyokaar Ibellogo, told our correspondent by telephone that the attack on his Jootar people was massive. Ibellogo alleged that the attack was carried out by Jukun militia.
“I’m right now in Jootar. The level of destruction is massive; not less than 1000 houses were destroyed. We are still recovering bodies but so far we have identified three corpses,” he said.
The members of the community said that over half of the houses in the community were razed down by the militia who unleashed terror on the rural residents and caused them to flee from their homes. The villagers also alleged that the Jukun militia, before the latest early morning attack, had blocked the road on Tuesday and killed four commuters of Tiv origin.
When contacted, Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major General Adeyemi Yekini, confirmed an attack in the area but added that he was not yet aware of the causalities.
“There was an attack in Jootar this morning. I’m not aware of anybody killed but my troops are on ground there. If there is anybody killed, I will know later. But right now, my troops are there,” Gen Adeyemi said.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Benue State Command (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, said three corpses were recovered at the scene and that investigation into the matter was ongoing.