Makurdi — Unknown gunmen killed at a least 18 persons on Sunday night in two villages of Borikyo ward in Ukum local government area, Benue state.
Locals said the gunmen invaded Agena and Agbaaye villages at about 8 pm on the fateful night and started shooting sporadically as they moved from house to house, maiming and killing their victims.
The gang operated unhindered for four hours just as they set houses ablaze in the process, sources said.
"The villages within Borikyo ward have been under the siege of armed robbers since March this year. Only in June, the robbers invaded one of the villages, Ayati, dispossessed their victims of valuables, killed one person and injured many others," one source said.
"This time, when they attacked the two villages on Sunday night, they killed seven people in Agena and another four in Agbaaye. The other seven which brings the latest killing to 18."
The villagers, the source added have now started deserting their homes for fear of another invasion since they could not ascertain the identity of their attackers.
"We don't know who they are. Before now, they would rob us but this time, they did not rob anybody. So, we are confused and worried," he said.
When contacted, the state police commissioner Adams Audu confirmed the incident but said the command would not speculate the numbers of casualties until investigations are concluded.