About fifteen persons may have lost their lives in Benue State as a result of the spillover of the Tiv/Jukun communal clash in Taraba State.
The victims lost their lives following an attack on Vaase in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State, in the dawn of Thursday by a combined force of alleged Jukun and Fulani militia. It was also gathered that over one hundred houses were razed by the assailants.
Even though retired Colonel Paul Hembah, Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Security Matters, confirmed that no fewer than hundred houses were razed by the attackers, he also said from reports reaching him that about 10 persons lost their lives in the incident.
Speaking to newsmen in his office on Thursday, Hembah, however, said that the clash may have escalated with the Jukuns hiring Fulani mercenaries to fight against their adversaries.
He pointed out that after receiving a report of a planned attack on Vaase, the police went on a surveillance of the area and were about drafting their men to the troubled place on Thursday when the assailants struck in the early hours of the same day.
However, he observed that the figures could be higher as the police, who have been drafted to the area to keep the peace, were still combing the bushes in search of missing persons.