Death toll from Fulani herdsmen’s attack on Lau Local Government Area has risen to 55, while many are missing.
This is coming less than two weeks the rampaging herdsmenin killed over 80 people in two Benue communities in New Year day.
Reports say at least two hundred homes, including food stuff, have been reportedldestroyed in Lau, Taraba State
It was gathered that the invasion and attacks began at the weekend.
No fewer than 25 bodies were recovered and given a mass burial on Tuesday when journalists and a Media Assistant to the Governor, Bala Dan Abu, visited the affected area.
The burial was done, hurriedly, by the youth, as policemen and soldiers cordoned off the area. There were apprehension, tears and anger.
Bala Dan Abu said he couldn’t fight back tears. “You know, I don’t like witnessing a funeral, what more, a mass burial like this,” he said.
The affected area is presently deserted akin to ghost town. Policemen and soldiers are said to be patrolling the area.
Those buried were mostly children, women and aged-persons. Most of the corpses were recovered from burnt houses, bush paths and nearby farmlands. The corpses had swollen, fouling the air.
Sources said some of the victims tried to escape from the marauders, but were hacked down by another set of herdsmen who ambushed them in large numbers.
The invaders used mostly “sophisticated guns and poisoned knives” to carry out the massacre, described by many as “genocide.”
Those who survived the herdsmen’s bullets are now taking refuge in a settlement called Abari. The bereaved lamented their ordeals and harrowing experiences when journalists visited the internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“Herdsmen are killing people in Lau, my State,” Governor Darius Ishaku said.
Ishaku had attributed the invasion, attacks and killings by Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country, as a “drive for territorial control.”
He blamed the elite for masterminding the violence for their political and economic interests. He asked Nigerians to pray for the country.
The Taraba State Police Command confirmed the killings. Police spokesman, David Misal, said the situation is calm now.
Misal, who earlier reported the casualty figures as 12, when the attack began, said “enough security personnel have been deployed to the area. What we are doing now is to build confidence in the people.”