A police officer walks beside a burnt prison vehicle in Abuja, Nigeria on July 6, 2022, after suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked the Kuje Medium Prison. (PHOTO / AFP)
LAGOS – At least 46 civilians were killed in an attack by armed bandits at a community in Nigeria's central state of Benue, an official said on Friday.
Armed attacks have been a primary security threat in Nigeria's northern and central regions, leading to deaths and kidnappings in recent months
Scores of residents were injured while others fled their houses in the attack, which occurred between Tuesday and Wednesday in the Umogidi community of the state, Bako Eje, chairman of Otukpo Local Government Area, confirmed the attack to reporters on the phone in Makurdi, the state capital.
According to him, the attackers invaded the community on Wednesday at about 4:15 pm local time shooting indiscriminately at everything in sight and killing 46 people.
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Paul Hemba, special adviser on security to the state governor, also confirmed the latest attack and described the incident as "very tragic and painful."
"The causality figure, from what I was told, was 46. But the figure may be higher because some people are still reported missing," he told reporters on the phone.
Addressing journalists in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, Hyacinth Alia, state governor-elect, who tasked security agencies to find the killers, also sympathized with the families of the deceased and condoled with the entire community over the killing.
"I am saddened over the killings, and I call on the government at all levels to be more proactive in addressing the security challenges in the state," he said.
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Armed attacks have been a primary security threat in Nigeria's northern and central regions, leading to deaths and kidnappings in recent months.