Two soldiers and 15 villagers have been reportedly killed in attacks by armed invaders on three communities in Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.
Locals said that the attacks happened simultaneously at about 6pm on Tuesday in Opaha, Odogbo and Edikwu communities in Apa LGA.
A local simply identified as Kole, said 17 bodies including two soldiers of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) were recovered from nearby bushes in the early hours of Wednesday after security operatives combed the area.
The local also told our correspondent that one of the deceased soldiers was the commander of the unit which confronted the armed invaders in their bid to repel the attackers from the communities while under siege.
Chairman of Apa Development Association, Barrister Eche Akpoko, confirmed that there was an attack on the community on Tuesday night.
Akpoko said 10 dead bodies including two soldiers were already recovered but that he was yet to get an update as at 10:30am.
State Commissioner for Finance, David Olofu, who hails from Opaha, one of the affected villages, told journalists in Makurdi, that the bodies of 15 villagers and two soldiers were recovered on Wednesday morning.
Olofu said he was on his way to the village to assess the situation at the time of this report.
The spokesman of OPWS, Flight Lieutenant DO Oquah, said he was out of town and could not speak on the matter.
A Sector Commander of OPWS in charge of Apa LGA, Major Ogundile, could also not be reached as his telephone was switched off.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, SP Catherine Anene, told our correspondent on the telephone that she was not yet aware of the incident.