Authorities said on Thursday that gunmen assaulted two communities in north-central Nigeria, killing 14 people and injuring a large number more.
According to Paul Hemba, the state’s top security official, the attackers invaded the towns in the Logo council area of Benue state on Wednesday night and fired “unprovoked” shots at the locals.
The attack was confirmed by Benue police. After killing 12 people in one hamlet by shooting them, the attackers went to another and slaughtered two more residents there, according to Hemba. 15 people were “seriously injured,” he claimed.
He referred to the assailants as “Fulani herdsmen,” a group of largely young Fulani pastoralists involved in the conflict in Nigeria between host towns and herders over herdsmen’s insufficient access to land and water.
Although security authorities have recently announced several arrests and the confiscation of weaponry, fatal conflicts between local populations and herdsmen continue in Nigeria’s middle belt and central regions despite a cycle of violence that has defied government interventions.
A convoy of Nigerian army personnel came under similar attack in another area of Benue, but the attackers were repelled, according to Hemba.
Attacks in rural areas frequently resemble one another. In places where the security forces of Nigeria are outnumbered and outgunned, motorcycle-riding gunmen frequently arrive by the hundreds.
Authorities have previously acknowledged that one of the primary reasons the attacks have persisted is the dearth of security staff in many of the impacted districts.Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria, leaves office in 2023. He was elected in 2015 on a wave of goodwill after vowing to put an end to the country’s protracted security problem. As political campaigns for the election of next year get underway, those security issues are once again in the forefront.