Nine killed, houses razed as rival criminal gangs clash in Benue

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Nine people have been killed in a gun battle believed to be between rival gangs in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.

Reports said the notorious groups had for long been operating around the Sankera axis of the state. This area is made up of parts of three local government areas of Kastina-Ala, Ukum and Logo.

The gangsters who were also said to be responsible for the killing of many people early last year at the popular yam market in Zaki-Biam community of Ukum LGA had also in recent times engaged themselves in supremacy battle for the control of the area.

Locals allege that the Thursday killings were occasioned by the resignation of a member of the gang from the nucleus body so that he could operate in isolation.

This move was said to have angered his other colleagues who insisted that he remained part of them even after the former had surrendered weapons in his possession to them.

Confirming the incident, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Moses Yamu said the attack was carried out by some armed outlaws who had been terrorizing the vicinity.

Yamu disclosed that so far, eight people were confirmed dead while the ninth person who was receiving treatment in the hospital died later.  Investigations into the killings, according to the PPRO, have begun.

Meanwhile, the governor’s spokesman said three suspects have been arrested.


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