The security situation in Benue State is worsening by the day as unknown gunmen yesterday killed about 30 residents of Zaki Ibiam town in Ukum Local Government Area of the state. The incident occurred around the Zaki Ibiam yam market.
It was learnt that the gunmen drove into the market from the Shitile axis of Kastina Ala local government area and started shooting sporadically, and setting ablaze houses within the area.
The reason for the killings and the people likely behind the act could not yet be ascertained by press time.
Most of those killed were said to be traders and businessmen. According to an eyewitness, the attack started around 2p.m., adding that “the gunmen stormed the yam market on about 12 Bajaj motorcycles and four Toyota Corolla cars and started shooting at anyone in sight.”
Several cars and a fuel station were also razed as pandemonium engulfed the area.The eyewitness described the incident as a bloodbath.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, confirmed the killings but stated that the police were yet to ascertain the exact number of casualties.
It would be recalled that unknown gunmen reportedly killed 10 people in two separate communities of Katisna-Ala and Ukum LGA of the state few days ago in a similar manner with five of the victims hacked to death by flogging on Wednesday night in Mbayongo district of Katsina-Ala area while the other five persons, including a woman were killed by sporadic gunshot on Thursday night in Ayati village of Ukum LGA.