Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Casualty figure of the bombing of residents by yet to be identified aircraft at a border town between Nasarawa and Benue states, has now risen to 56.
This is as the source of the air raid remains at best speculative.
The Nigeria Air Force has refused to confirm whether it was its jet that dropped the bombs.
The unfortunate incident which occurred Tuesday night, has continued to draw nationwide condemnation.
A resident of the border community who said he lost four of his brothers in the blast, said he counted more than 54 lifeless bodies.
A source at a Lafia hospital where some of the injured ones are receiving treatment, said, “some of the people who died in the attack were butchers who were invited to slaughter the cows that fell ill while in detention in order to avoid wasting the cows.”
Spokesperson of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Tasi’u Suleman, said “at least 54 people died instantly while the injured were many.”
Another community source said some of the victims were bringing down the cows from the vehicle when they were bombed.
“Others were preventing them from going to the stream to drink water, having not been fed for days.”
One of the surviving victims, Mallam Bawa, who sustained multiple injuries on different parts of his body, said the explosion shattered his legs.
He, however, thanked God for surviving the incident.
The incident was not the first time civilians would be mistakenly bombed in Nigeria.