About 19 persons, including a family of seven, have been confirmed dead after gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen launched an attack on Ariri community in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Eyewitnesses said four others were seriously injured after the attack which took place on Wednesday night in the community.
The latest attack, which threw the community into another panic, came amid condemnation of the alleged militarisation and presence of fake soldiers in the Jos metropolis.
Those who died include James Chochu (60), Wah Danladi (35), Alaska Danladi (2), Washi Danladi (7), Abigail Danladi (30), Talatu Danladi (8), Mali Wah (35), Gado Danladi (7), Bulus Danladi (12), Ahmadu Mali (70) and Monday Kura (10).
Others are Lami Monday (12), Laraba Samila (40), Wah Samila (15), Eweh Samila (9), Eze Samila (18), Akwe Samila (6) and Juma Azumi Mali (30), who died on the way to the hospital.
Our correspondent was also informed that Samila Wah (40), Laraba Oska (55), Mama Amadu (60) and Jumai Mali (30) were injured and hospitalised.
Our correspondent reported that on Tuesday night, 13 persons were feared killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen during a midnight attack on Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State.
An eyewitness, Yohana Yakubu, from Ariri village in Miango District, in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday in Jos, said the assailants displaced many families, after shooting sporadically at their targets.
He said, “In all, 19 people were killed. The killers wore black clothes; they were shouting Allah Akbar. They were speaking Hausa and Fulani languages and after the attack, they fled. People were massacred and we are now helpless. The killing is barbaric. We don’t know our offences which provoked the killings.”
The spokesperson for the Miango Youths Development Association, Lawrence Zongo, also shed light on the attacks in a WhatsApp message to The PUNCH, in Jos.
He said, “Again, Fulani gunmen have killed 18 people in Ariri village of Miango District in Bassa LGA of Plateau State. Four persons sustained serious injuries including the youth leader of Ariri, who are now receiving treatments at the Enos Hospital, Miango.
“The Fulani people have declared war on the Plateau. They are achieving their plans through genocidal attacks and killing of citizens. We are always in security meetings without results. No investigation to arrest the criminals. Now Ariri village has been displaced.
“We are calling on the Amnesty International, the global community and Red Cross to please come to our aid. We need your help and assistance. We are losing hope in the government.”
When contacted, the spokesperson for Plateau State Police Command, Matthias Tyopev, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie, had condemned the attack when he visited the scene.
The CP said investigation had commenced and promised to track down the perpetrators of the crime.
Fears and apprehension had continued to grip residents of Jos over allegations that fake soldiers in uniform had taken over the streets and were responsible for the renewed wave of violence.
But the Special Military Taskforce, codenamed Operation Safe Haven, had allayed the fears about fake soldiers in Jos, describing it as “media hype.”
Reports were rife that fake soldiers in military uniforms, armed with guns, had invaded Jos North and Jos South Local Government Areas and were perpetrating the killings.
Consequently, two socio-political groups in Plateau State, MYDA and Berom Educational and Cultural Organisation, demanded an investigation into the allegation that fake soldiers were killing people in Jos.
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