There appears to be no let up in the gruesome bloodletting in the Benue-Plateau region in North-central Nigeria, as yet another 25 persons were reportedly killed in the wee hours of Tuesday in an attack on Dundu village in the Kwal District of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Confirming the attack, the President of Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Hon. Sunday Abdu, said the suspected Fulani herdsmen swooped on the community Monday night and raided it for hours, leaving at least 25 persons dead in the aftermath.
While the 25 were being buried in a mass grave in the village, Abdu said the search for bodies was still ongoing since some of the residents who tried to escape the bloody raid were killed in the surrounding bushes and may not have been discovered yet.
Also confirming the killings, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Tyopev Terna, placed the death toll from the latest attack at 25, adding that his men were drafted to the village to take charge of the situation.
But the spokesman of the military Special Task Force (STF) on Security in the state, Major Umar, had initially said eight persons were shot at, adding that seven died on the spot while the eighth victim who was rushed to the hospital eventually died, bringing the fatalities to eight.
Umar, however, called back Tuesday to say that the death toll had risen from eight to 21.
He also said that when the STF received a distress call concerning the attack, they quickly drafted soldiers to rescue the villagers, but the assailants had fled before they got there.
He added that the Dundu terrain was a very difficult one, spanning over 11 kilometres from the village.
Rev. Jerry Datim, a local cleric who conducted the mass burial, said the bodies brought for burial were 25, and lamented that the state government had abandoned the villagers to their fate.
He was critical of the state governor, Simon Lalong, saying that while the latter was making merry with President Muhammadu Buhari during the president's visit, suspected Fulani raiders were killing more people in the villages.
He called on the state government to stop giving false reports on the existing peace in the state when the reverse was the case.
Meanwhile, a mass burial for about 10 other persons who were recently slain in Miango village had been slated for Tuesday before the latest killings. Miango is a stone throw from Dundu.