Suspected herdsmen, Tuesday morning, attacked Ayar Mbalom village in Gwer East local Government Area of Benue State, killing 19 persons and burning down over 35 houses.
DAILY POST learnt that among those killed were Rev Fathers Gor Joseph, Felix and many others.
The attackers also sacked the entire villagers.
Confirming the incident, Moses Iorapuu, Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi in a statement sent to DAILY POST, called on the federal government to end the senseless killings in the state and the country at large.
He said the deceased were until their demise, serving at St. Ignatius Quasi Parish Ukpor-Mbalom.
“In their classic style, they burnt down homes, destroy food items and kill. The police seem to know nothing of the attacks which have been going on in other villages within Benue State since the Anti-Open Grazing Law came into effect last year,” Iorapuu told DAILY POST.
Meanwhile, the Police Command in Benue has confirmed the killing of 16 people, including two Catholic priests, in the fresh attacks.
Mr Owoseni Fatai, commissioner, told newsmen on Tuesday in Makurdi that unknown gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, opened fire on Catholic worshipers during morning Mass on Tuesday.
“The worshipers were attacked around 5 a.m. during morning Mass.
“Other victims were killed during a burial ceremony later in the day,” he said.
Fatai, who described the attacks as “unfortunate”, vowed to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
He said that preliminary investigation had revealed that the herdsmen had stayed around the area for sometime before carrying out the attacks. (DAILY POST)