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Suspected gunmen kill 11 in Taraba border

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Suspected gunmen have killed eleven people in border communities within Wukari local government area, on the border between Taraba and Benue states.

The attack, which also resulted in the destruction of houses and properties worth millions of naira, targeted the communities of Apiirgwa and Deke in Kente Ward, southern Wukari.

According to Tsavyaa Adeke, a community leader from Adeke, the attackers stormed Apiirgwa en masse at around 5:00 AM on Saturday when the villagers were still asleep, opening fire indiscriminately.

“The villagers, upon hearing the gunshots, scrambled for safety, but eight people were killed on the spot, while others escaped with gunshot injuries,” Adeke reported.

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Mr. Aondowase Tarorshi, chairman of the Wukari local government branch of the Tiv Cultural and Social Association, confirmed the fatalities. He detailed that eight people were killed in Apiirgwa village, two in Tse-Deke—a remote village about 3 kilometers from Wukari town along Wukari Kente Road where Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had recently resettled—and one person was killed along Tarorshi, Wukari Rafinka Road.

Tarorshi identified the victims from Apiirgwa and Deke as Daniel Apirgwa, Saater Apirgwa, Terna Apirgwa, Nguyiman Apirgwa, Tertindi Apirgwa, Kparegh Emmanuel Apirgwa, and Mama Modi Apirgwa, Myom Chiahemba Tarorshi, Tyolumun Deke, and Ternenge Deke, also known as Usman.

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He noted that the bodies of the ten victims from Apiirgwa and Deke had been recovered and buried, while the body of the young man killed along Rafinka Road had yet to be recovered. He reported the attack to the troops in the area, who advised the bereaved to bury the victims.

Tarorshi highlighted the dire situation of the IDPs in the region, many of whom had fled previous conflicts.

“Though Apiirgwa is a border village of Benue State, the majority of people living here now are IDPs from Taraba State. The attack has aggravated their challenges, leaving thousands of youths restive and children out of school,” he said.

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He appealed to the Governor of Taraba State, Dr. Agbu Kefas, to address the crisis and set up measures to resettle the IDPs, believing that doing so would help curb these violent attacks.

Despite multiple attempts, the chairman of the local government, Hon. Dauda Samaila, could not be reached for comment. However, the State’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gambo Kwache, confirmed the attacks but stated that only two people were killed by the unknown assailants.

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