At least 50 people are believed to have been killed by crazed gunmen who shot up a village.

 

The horrendous attack happened in the town of Zaki-Biam, in the Ukum Local Government Area, in Benue State, south-eastern Nigeria.

 

Horrendous snaps of the aftermath have since been shared online and gone viral.

 

The area of Zaki Biam shares boundary with the Wukari local government area of Taraba and the local community leader said the mass slaughter began at 5pm on Monday when 10 gunmen stormed the town.

 

Chief Udam Wuhe said the group were from the nearby area of TorTonda-Zaki Biam, attacking the village at around 5pm and started storming houses and shooting people.

 

He said it is believed around 50 people have been killed in the attacks, but an official number has not yet been released.

 

The chief said they were looking into the claim that the gunmen were Fulani Herdsmen.

 

The tragic incident happened just a week after suspected Fulani Herdsmen killed 10 people in the nearby Buruku area of the state.

 

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu said: "We are yet to ascertain the number of those killed in the attack. Our men are already on ground there to restore normalcy to the area."

 

During the attack it is reported that cars, houses and a petrol station were all set alight by the gunmen.

 

An unnamed eyewitness said: "The unknown gunmen driving in 4 Toyota Corolla cars popularly called ‘Duck Nyash’ and 12 Bajaj motorcycles stormed Zaki Biam, killing people in the town. Casualties are yet to be ascertained but am still tracking events over there as I report this."

 

Another eyewitness added: "It’s really a bloody evening in Zaki Biam.

 

"As I speak to you, everyone has deserted the community, running for his or her dear life. Over 50 persons have been killed, including schoolchildren returning home from their schools. We don’t know who the attackers really are."

 

Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has released a statement, calling on anyone with information to come forward.

 

The statement says: "Governor Samuel Ortom has canceled all his engagements for tomorrow, including the scheduled swearing-in of new members of the State Executive Council.

 

"The Governor’s directive is in respect of recent attacks in the Sankera area of the state particularly today’s murder of innocent people at the Zaki-Biam market in Ukum local government area.

 

"He condemns the attack and restates his call on the people with useful information that will lead to the arrest of notorious criminals in the area including Terwase Akwaza, alias Ghana to contact security agencies, assuring that information sources will be protected.

 

"Governor Ortom commiserates with families of the victims, promising that the state security council would redouble efforts to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice.

 

"He says the latest development underscores the need for all good spirited individuals and organizations to join hands with government to confront and surmount the security challenges".

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Author: Gabriel Zamfir