Ten dead bodies of villagers killed by suspected herders in Tse-Audu and Enger villages in Gwer West Local Government Area of the state, have been recovered.
The Benue State Police Command said on Friday that the bodies are suspected to have been killed by armed bandits, Thursday.
Four lawmakers representing the state at the National Assembly, Thursday raised the alarm that killings were still going on in the state.
They demanded full military presence in the communities constantly under attacks by herdsmen as against ad hoc operations such as the current Operation Cat Race.
According to the lawmakers, between April 2 and 4, no fewer than 24 persons were confirmed killed in renewed attacks in the state, while several others are missing.
The lawmakers called on the Federal Government to declare the herdsmen as “terrorists.”
Four members, Dickson Takighir; Mark Terseer-Gbillah; Samuel Udende; and John Dyegh, who spoke for the Benue Caucus, alleged that some of the killings took place with no response from security agencies.
The lawmakers also described as strange the sudden termination of the Operation Cat Race in the state by the military, while it was extended by more weeks in neighbouring states, including Taraba.
Fresh attacks by suspected herders were reported in the area on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, a statement on Friday in Makurdi, the Benue State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, said the bodies were victims of the Thursday attacks on the villages.
He said they had been found by the mobile police contingent deployed to Naka, the capital of the local government council.
He attributed the deaths to armed bandits, saying that the police had in their routine surveillance, also encountered the attackers.
“Eight dead bodies were found in the bush around Tse-Audu and Enger villages in Gwer West local government.
“This is in addition to the two bodies that were removed from the same area on the same day,’’ he said.
The police spokesman, however, assured residents of the communities of the safety of their lives, saying that a detachment of police team on counter insurgency had been deployed to the area.
He also advised members of the public to promptly report any suspicious movements to security agencies for immediate action.
Gwer West local government had in 2012 and 2014 witnessed several conflicts involving farmers and herders.