At least ten police officers are feared killed and several others missing following a Sunday night ambush on a police team in Benue State by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The attack began around 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening when gunmen opened fire on two police officers who were riding on a motorcycle between Anyibe and Ayilamo, two communities in Logo Local Government Area where hundreds have been killed in suspected herdsmen attacks since January 1.
One of the police officers died on the spot, while the other reportedly escaped.
Some officers were dispatched to retrieve the body of the slain officer, but they, too, came under attack on their way back from the mortuary where they deposited the remains of their colleague.
The gun battle that followed reportedly left nine officers killed and several others still missing. The bodies of the nine officers were discovered on Monday morning.
About 30 officers were said to have been involved in the incident. Some officers are said to have returned to their station, but it was not immediately clear how many.
At least two police trucks were also burnt by the attackers, PREMIUM TIMES reported.
“We have confirmed this morning that 10 policemen were killed including the first one that was killed on a motorcycle,” said Paul Pevikyaa, information officer for Logo Local Government Area. “Only a few places are safe now.”
Two members of a local vigilante group working closely with the police also told PREMIUM TIMES that nine or 10 officers have been confirmed killed.
The situation was still fluid as at the time of filing this report, with locals saying there is little hope the missing officers would be found alive.
But Daily Post quoted Benue State Police command spokesperson, Moses Yamu as confirming the attack on Monday afternoon, saying the police have only been able to confirm four casualties.