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A funeral ceremony unexpectedly turned bloody yesterday in Benue State after 10 gunmen swooped on mourners, shooting indiscriminately.

Nine persons laid dead by the time the shooting stopped in the early hours of the day in Tongov district of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state.


Several others were wounded, eye witnesses said.

The state police command immediately launched into an investigation of the incident.

A stunned Police Commissioner Mukaddas Garba vowed to find the killers and bring them to book.

He urged the public to come forward with information that could help the police in tracking the hoodlums.

The incident occurred at the burial of one Tor Amaafu.

Gunmen have repeatedly attacked Benue State for some time now killing and maiming people.

Houses are also often set ablaze by the hoodlums.

No one or group has so far taken responsibility for the attack.

A similar attack by yet to be identified gunmen on mourners in Nganzai district near Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, about three weeks ago claimed no fewer than 65 lives.

The victims were returning to Badu Kuluwu from nearby Goni Abachari village where they had attended funeral prayers for a relative when they came under gun attack.

Local hunters and militia recovered the bodies after survivors returned to the village and alerted them.

Unknown gunmen, in the early hours of Wednesday, August 14,also attacked nine Catholic nuns of Sisters of Nativity Okwungaga, Ugbokolo in Okpokwu local government area of Benue state and snatched their 14-seater Toyota bus.

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kate Anene attributed the deaths to the crises between Ikurav and Shitle ethnic groups.



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