Suspected Fulani extremists killed 37 people in an attack on a Christian-majority area of Benue State, Nigeria, on Sunday 12 June.
The attackers also destroyed dozens of homes, forcing more than 500 people to flee from the villages of Igama and Efeche in Okpokwu Local Government Area (LGA).
Ambrose Adah, a resident whose home was destroyed, said that “herdsmen in large numbers riding on motorbikes” were responsible for the slaughter of “mostly women and youths”.
Mr Adah added that he and his family were preparing for Sunday worship at the time of the onslaught.
The incident was confirmed by Amina Audu, the chair of Okpokwu LGA, who explained that the attack had caused a “humanitarian crisis” in Igama and in other villages to which survivors had fled.
Police and military were deployed to the area in case of further attacks.
In a statement on Twitter, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom said, “I totally condemn the gruesome killings,” which were carried out by “gunmen believed to be Fulani terrorists”.
“These terrorists must be fished out and prosecuted without delay,” he added.
In March 2022 it was reported that more than 13,000 people in Nigeria have been killed in attacks by Fulani Islamist extremists between 2009 and 2021.