More than 4,800 Nigerians have fled from their homes following attacks on five villages in central Plateau state, a government official said Wednesday. Heavily armed criminals known locally as bandits who are increasingly active across central and northwestern states were suspected of being behind the attacks. Two local community leaders and the commander of a local vigilante force told AFP that more than 100 people were killed on Sunday in several communities, triggering the mass displacement. Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Sadiya Umar Farouq said she ordered immediate deployment of relief materials including food, water, blankets and sleeping nets to the displaced victims. “Five communities including Kyaram, Gyambau, Dungur, Kukawa, Shuwaka villages under Garga District were attacked… scores were reportedly killed during the mayhem,” her spokeswoman Nneka Ikem Anibeze said. “The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are said to be over 4,800, comprising mostly women and children,” she added in a statement. President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that there would be no mercy for those responsible, as pressure mounts on the authorities to curb worsening security. Earlier on Wednesday, the governor of nearby Benue, said that 24 people were killed in two attacks by gunmen in the state. Clashes over land and water between nomadic herders and local farmers are common in Benue, but in the past two years, communal tensions have become deadlier. “Suspected (Fulani) herdsmen invaded and killed eight persons in Mbadwem in Guma local government and 16 in Tiortyu, a sprawling settlement in Tarka local government,” Benue’s government spokesman Nathaniel Ikyur said. “Scores of others were injured and are receiving treatment in unnamed hospital in the state,” he added in a statement. Police confirmed the attack in Tiortyu but gave a lower death toll of nine people killed.