Gunmen in the early hours of Saturday shot dead at least four mourners during a funeral ceremony in a rural village at Mbayatyo Mbater council ward of Logo Local Government Area in Benue State.
Villagers told our correspondent that many others were wounded after the gunmen opened fire on mourners in the wake of late Mama Sule Achin Adigi about 3:30am.
Some said the attackers are local militia while others claimed they were herders.
The villagers said several other people were injured and taken to the hospital while the four people who died on the spot included a popular commander of the newly established Community Volunteer Guards in Logo LGA, whose name was simply given as, Atum.
A community leader in the area, Chief Joseph Anawah, also confirmed to our correspondent that four people were killed on the spot and the injured were taken to the hospital.
Anawah said the toll may increase because some of those receiving treatment are currently in critical condition as they battle for their lives.
Chairman of Logo LGA, Agber Isaac, also confirmed to journalists in Makurdi that the attack happened early hours of Saturday.
“The attack happened about 2am today while the people were in the wake of an elderly woman who died at Agidi in Mbayen council ward.
“Initially, they (mourners) never knew what was happening, the attackers came in their numbers of over 10.
“They shot sporadically in the air which made people run away and stray bullets hit some people, four died and five critically wounded are in the General hospital, Ugba.
“Policemen are aware. I have personally visited the place though, very far away but went there to have first-hand information before meeting the DPO.
“I have informed the governor and the security adviser.
“The attackers were not local militias, though it is too early for people to know those involved.
“But the villagers claimed that they had a squabble with the Fulani herdsmen at their settlement area, the place is waterlogged, the grass there is green so when the people had a squabble with them they drove them away, this happened more than a week ago,” the council chairman added.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, DSP Catherine Anene, did not pick calls put through her telephone or respond to a text message sent by our reporter.