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Gunmen Burn 250 Houses In Plateau Village, Over 1500 Residents Displaced



Unknown gunmen have overrun Shonong village in Riyom local government area of Plateau State in an attack spanning three days.

Two hundred houses in the village were burnt down and about 1500 residents are now displaced, according to a member of the community, Isaac Kahwun.

“The gunmen came as usual and started shooting sporadically to announce their presence,” he said in Jos yesterday.

“Residents scampered into the bush for safety. We sent a distress call to the special task force in charge of the village and they only succeeded in driving the gunmen away on the first day of the attacks.

“The security agencies advised the villagers to and run to a safer place as they (security agents) do not have the arsenal with which to confront the gunmen should they return.

“Given this scenario, all the villagers left their houses and took refuge in neighbouring villages. On Thursday night the gunmen returned and set all the houses ablaze including two churches.”

He said some buildings used by the community as warehouse for relief items were looted by the attackers while they set the remaining ones ablaze.

Many of the displaced residents are now sleeping in primary schools in neighbouring villages.

The village was attacked last year by gunmen who killed 36 residents most of whom were women and children.

The local government responded to that attack by helping in rebuilding some of the destroyed houses only for the gunmen to return to set them ablaze.

The chairman of Riyom local government, Mrs. Josephine Piyo was stopped by security agents from visiting the village yesterday for security reasons.

An angry Mrs. Piyo said: “In the past two months, more than ten villages in my local government area have been attacked, and the security agencies are here watching without doing anything to defend the people or arrest the gunmen.”

The council boss promised to mobilize people of the local government to stage a protest in Abuja with a view to drawing attention to the plight of the people.

However, the special task force insisted that it was in full control of the situation.

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