Two communities, Agojeju Odo and Abejukolo in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State, have been invaded by gunmen.

No fewer than 19 people have been killed while yet to be ascertained number of houses have been razed.

Eyewitnesses told one of our correspondents in Lokoja on Friday that the incident happened on Thursday when the gunmen mobilised in what he described as a “reprisal” and invaded the two communities inflicting maximum damages.

The bandits who were having a running battle with Agatu militia in Benue State had extended their onslaught to Agojeju Odo, Ajokpachi Odo, Bagaji and environs destroying their farm produce.

A local, who lost his wife and children, said that the herdsmen decided to unleash mayhem on them after alleging that the people were complicit with the Agatus against them.

Another local who spoke to our correspondent but did not want his name mentioned, said, “The state governor, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, and security agencies should come to our aid by deploying security personnel to the area, as the policemen in the Local Government Council have been overwhelmed and overpowered by the invaders.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer William Aya, while confirming the incident said, “19 people were killed in the communal clashes that occurred on Thursday,” adding that officers and men of the state police command’s counter-terrorism unit and the Army have been mobilised to restore normalcy in the area.

“As soon as we got wind of the incident, the Commissioner of Police mobilised all units, including the counter-terrorism unit, Army, and other sister security agencies to the area to restore normalcy. As we speak, peace has returned to the communities,” he said.