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Death toll rises in Kogi clash



A COMMUNAL clash that erupted between Ebira Mozum and Bassa-Komo speaking peoples of Kogi State on Tuesday morning has continued to claim more casualties, with 10 new deaths recorded yesterday.
A resident of one of the fighting communities said that, apart from those that received fatal injuries from their attackers, a retaliatory raid by a divide in the crisis led to the new deaths with Ketechi town razed down.
It was gathered that suspected mercenaries from Agatu, Tiv and Buzu tribes from neighbouring states were hired by one of the aggrieved communities and stationed in Ketechi village, a settlement not more than five kilometres from Mozum.
According to the source, these fighters are those who launched the early morning offensive of Tuesday which claimed 17 persons, adding that tension has pervaded the area since the destruction of Biroko, an Ebira village few months ago, with youths keeping vigil on their community in anticipation of attack from their neighbours.
Although Kogi State Police Commissioner, Ali Janga, denied knowledge of any new communal clash in the state, a member of Kogi House of Assembly from one of the warring tribes, Sunday Shigaba, confirmed the incident, adding that killings were still going on in the area.

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