2 policemen killed in Nigeria herdsmen's attacks: official

ABUJA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Two policemen have been killed in the ongoing attacks allegedly by herdsmen in Nigeria's north-central state of Benue, the state governor said on Tuesday.

Governor Samuel Ortom told reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari that the security situation had taken a different dimension with the killing of the policemen.

Ortom said the suspected herdsmen had recently engaged the riot police in a gunfight, causing the death of the two policemen and leaving another policeman wounded.

The governor said a police officer earlier declared missing was found early Tuesday and taken to a hospital for treatment.

Local officials said at least 71 people have been killed so far by the herdsmen in Logo and Guma communities in Benue since the start of the new year.

President Buhari on Tuesday redeployed the national police chief to the state, with an instruction to restore law and order and forestall the crisis from escalating.

The presidential order followed a public outcry on the security situation in Benue.

Killings by herdsmen had increased since the start of the new year in Benue, where relations between herdsmen and farmers remained tense.

Eight suspects have been arrested so far by the local police following the bloody attacks in the state.

Moses Yamu, the spokesman for the state police, said the suspects, all herdsmen, had made confessions to the security agency.

Benue had brought into effect an anti-open grazing law on Nov.1, 2017, which ignited protests from local herdsmen. Enditem

[ Editor: meng ]


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