At least 13 suspected cultists were at the weekend killed by youths of Lessel community in Ushongo Local Government Area, Benue State over an alleged murder of a commercial bike rider in the area.
Trouble started when the cultists, who were in the town for a meeting, attacked and killed a commercial bike rider while attempting to rob him.
As a result, youths of the community mobilised and stormed the guest house where the cultists were having their meeting and hacked about 13 of them to death, Punch writes.
Local sources say the carnage would have been worse but for the intervention of the police.
“The group had come to Lessel town in their numbers on Saturday night for what we gathered was their annual convention,” an eyewitness said.
“They ran into the okadaman, who they engaged to convey some of them to a guest house in Lessel, venue of the meeting where some of them also put up.
“On completing the assignment of conveying them to their destination, the cult members demanded the key of the motorbike, but the rider refused to surrender his bike to them.
“They descended on him and killed him instantly. But the news of the murder filtered into town and the youths in Lessel mobilised and stormed the guest house with dangerous weapons.
“A bloody fight ensued, some of the cult members were hacked to death, while others captured alive led the youths to where other members of the cult were hiding.
“They were all rounded up by the youths. It took the intervention of the Police, who stormed the area, to stop the killing of more cultists, most of whom had been beaten to a pulp by the youths.”
The Benue State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ene Okoh, however said it was nine persons killed in the attack.
“When we got the information, my men moved in quickly and arrested 13 persons, who were involved in the fracas, but I can confirm that nine persons were killed in the clash.”