No fewer than 17 persons were feared dead in a renewed communal clash between Ebira Mozum and Bassa –Komo-speaking people of Kogi State.
THISDAY gathered that suspected mercenaries hired from Agatu, Tiv and Buzu tribes from the neighbouring states by one of the aggrieved communities and stationed in Ketechi village, five kilometres south east of Mozum, were believed to have launched the first attack in the early morning hours of yesterday.
A source privy to the crisis told THISDAY that since the destruction of Biroko, an Ebira village few months ago, the Mozum Youths Vanguards decided to keep vigil on their community, running shift in expectation of any attack on the town.
It was gathered that the movement of the mercenaries to the town was halted abruptly as they ran into the ambush of the Mozum youths vanguards and suffered heavy casualties.
The rampaging mercenaries were said to have later beat a retreat to their base in Ketechi, as their attack was effectively repelled.
THISDAY gathered that the angry Mozum youths vanguards chased the retreating attackers to their base at Ketechi and in the ensuing battle, the entire town was burnt down, with many people killed in the process.
Another eye-witness account also disclosed that he counted about 17 dead bodies in the areas, saying that the casualty figure could be higher, especially as the Ketechi town was razed down when the second reinforcement against Mozum failed.