FIFTEEN people were killed while many others sustained varying degrees of injury on Monday night when suspected herdsmen invaded four communities in Íshíelu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Those affected are Nkalaha, Obegu, Amaezu and Umuhuali communities.
The attackers, it was further learnt, also looted property from the area.
Some residents of the affected communities who do not want their names in print, also claimed that among those killed was a priest in the Methodist Church, whose car was burnt down.
A resident said: “We are mourning; we are in serious mourning since the late hours of Monday. Herdsmen invaded our communities and massacred our people. As we speak, 15 persons were slaughtered like animals. They hacked many of our people, burnt vehicles, motorcycles and looted our properties.”
The chairman of Ishielu Local Government Area, Honourable Sunday Eze, and the state Commissioner for Business Development, Dr Stephen Odo, who both hail from the local government area, on Tuesday, led a team of security agents to the communities where they condoled with the families of those killed.
When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Loveth Odah, confirmed the incident.
She said: “The Commissioner of Police delegated a team of policemen for an on-thespot assessment in the communities. The Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations and others went for the assessment to enable us to get the details of the attack, but they are yet to return.”
Meanwhile, the state governor, David Umahi, during a visit to the affected communities on Tuesday, expressed worry over the killings.
The governor said his government, the governors of South-East and security agencies had been giving herdsmen full protection in the entire region, just as he wondered the reason behind the attack on innocent citizens. He then charged security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.
He said: “I want to demand from security chiefs to fish out these people because they are well-known. This has happened in so many places and they were not fished out and that’s why this kind of thing is happening again.”