Many people have been killed and displaced in a reprisal attack on the Hausa community in Makurdi, Benue state capital.

The attack is believed to have been carried out by Tiv youths protesting the killings of some priests and worshippers at a Catholic church in Gwer east local government area of the state.

Bello Abdurrahamn, Sarkin Hausawa of Makurdi, said eight members of the Hausa community had been killed, 11 missing and several businesses within the area destroyed.

“Last Tuesday, we saw our people running helter-skelter in the city. They said the corpses of the church priests that were killed at Dukwayango village had been brought and suddenly Tiv youth started attacking our people,” he was quoted to have said.

“As I am talking to you, they have killed over eight people, over 20 sustained injuries and several shops were razed while over 11 people were missing. “We are not farmers, we don’t rear animals. We are just traders. These things happened in villages and in the bushes, why are Tiv youth killing our people.”

There were reports that some mosques were burnt in the state capital but the Benue police command debunked the reports.

“These are nothing but falsehood, believably meant to cause break down of law and order in the state,” Moses Yamu, spokesman of the command said.

“It is indeed a difficult period. However, acts of insurgency being witnessed lately have nothing to do with religion, ethnic or political alienation. Therefore, in order to overcome the ongoing security challenges, the collaboration of all is required.”

A resident of Gboko, a town in the state, said there was tension in the community as a result of fears of reprisal by residents.

The resident, who did not want to be named, said for some time now, people of the area have been enjoying peaceful atmosphere but for the tension.

“Everybody is surprised because there are no Fulanis in those areas that attacks were carried out. In fact, no Fulani man will go there because of fear. By the way, there’s no way a Fulani man will go there without being noticed because of the way the communities are,” the source reportedly said.