One feared killed, residents flee as Benue communal clash escalates

One person was reportedly killed in a hospital on Tuesday as fighting intensified between two communities in the Ikpayongo District of Gwer East Local Government Area in Benue State.

Newsmen report that the renewed rivalry between the Mbakume (Mbaivur) and Mbasombo people erupted five days ago during which one person was killed.

Residents have started fleeing while many houses were burnt in the area on Tuesday morning.

An eyewitness gave the name of the latest victim as Igbawase Ijov, who was shot at the premises of a clinic where he was admitted over his ill health.

The witness said the deceased heard gunshots in the neighbourhood of the hospital and came out to the corridors of the building to observe what was going on when he was hit by a bullet.

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He was said to have died at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) where he was rushed to.

But, the Chairman of Gwer East LGA, Terwase Ortserga, denied any fresh killing.

He, however, admitted that residents were fleeing because of fear, adding that several meetings were ongoing to quell the crisis.

Meanwhile, the police have advised the people to embrace peace with a warning to deal with those fomenting trouble.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP. Catherine Anene, in a statement, said “Another round of dialogue has been scheduled with leaders of the two warring communities.”

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