47 mourners killed in northcentral Nigeria, says official

47 mourners killed in northcentral Nigeria, says official

Thousands displaced after gunmen fire at residents during burials for victims of attack in Benue State

By Olanrewaju Kola

ABUJA, Nigeria (AA) - Thousands of residents have been displaced after gunmen killed at least 47 mourners in a Nigerian northcentral state, an official said Friday.

Paul Hembah, a security adviser to the governor of Bemue State, told Anadolu gunmen opened fire on villagers Wednesday during a burial in Umogidi in Otukpo Local Government.

"Many people have fled the area in fear following the killing of 47 people. They are taking refuge in a nearby village for now," he told Anadolu.

Hembah said officials have deployed more police to the area to protect displaced persons and stop further attacks.

He said a senior government official visited the community Friday to assess the situation.

Police had claimed Thursday that eight people were killed in the attack.

The villagers were performing burials for three members of the community who were killed by gunmen Tuesday when attackers invaded the area, according to Reuben Bako, administrative head of Otukpo Local Government.

Gunmen attacks have been occurring regularly in northern states.


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