Tragedy struck the border community of Doma as a blast claimed the lives of an estimated 50 people. The incident, which occurred at the boundary between Benue and Nasarawa States, has left residents in shock and mourning.
At the time of this report, the specifics of the event were not fully known and it was uncertain whether the blast was caused by a military airstrike.
According to Mr. Frank Kya, who spoke with a local newspaper, a loud, booming sound, similar to that of a bomb blast, was heard in a neighboring village the previous day. He stated, “The noise was terrifying. Shortly after, news began to spread that it was the result of an aircraft explosion. Many people died as a result. I can’t give an exact number, but over 50 people, including women and children, were affected.”
The police public relations officer for Nasarawa State Command, Nansel Ramham, confirmed that there was an airstrike in the area but could not confirm if the explosion was a result of military action.
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The incident occurred just 24 hours after the leaders of Benue State and Nasarawa State held a private meeting to discuss the persistent killings in border towns between the two states. The Doma local council has experienced multiple attacks by bandits in the past.
Additionally, 18 members of a special hunting squad affiliated with the Department of State Services (DSS) were killed during a military air strike in the Galadima Kogo community in Shiroro Local Council of Niger State on Tuesday. An investigation revealed that the incident happened while the hunters were conducting routine patrols in the area. Some survivors, who spoke anonymously, said the hunting squad had been on their way to confront bandits who had attacked nearby villages.
Efforts to reach government officials for comment were unsuccessful, and messages sent to the spokesman of the Training and Doctrine Command, Nigerian Army, Minna, were not answered. The spokesman for the Niger State Police Command declined to comment.