At least 14 people were killed in two separate attacks in Benue state on Friday, September 28, and Saturday, September 29. According to local sources, the attacks targeted the Ukum and Okpokwu local government areas. On Friday evening (local time), gunmen attacked the Agena market in Ukum and the nearby village of Agbaaye, killing eight people. On Saturday, gunmen attacked the village of Okpoga, killing five civilians and a police officer. Additional clashes are possible int Benue state in the coming days and weeks.
Ethnic and sectarian clashes are common in Nigeria. Central Nigeria and adjacent areas have become the scene of almost daily clashes between farmers and the largely nomadic herders in a battle for land and resources. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom recently reported that murder rates linked to ethnic violence in Nigeria are higher than those related to terrorism - also a major security concern in the country.
In general, the security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly challenging in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to such areas.
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