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Gunmen Kill 18, Set Over 150 Houses Ablaze In Renewed Attacks In Plateau

The spate of killings in some parts of Plateau State took a frightening dimension in the early hours of Wednesday when a large number of notorious gunmen swooped on Kadunung village in Mangu Local Government Area of the state killing 18 people and set several houses on fire.

Nigerian Tribune is reporting that gunmen whose identities were yet to be ascertained invaded the community at about 12:45a.m., carried out selective killings and set quite a number of houses on fire before they bolted away without being challenged by security men.

The Chairman Management Committee of Mangu Local Government, Honourable Titus Bise who confirmed the attack, said over 150 houses were burnt by the attackers, adding that it was an organised invasion that caught the people unaware.

Honourable Bise said “After the attack, I was part of the rescue team that evacuated the victims and so far we have recovered 11 bodies burnt in their houses. Apart from the 11 bodies we picked from various places, there was a compound we saw seven people burnt. That makes it 18 deaths so far. We are suspecting there are bodies in the bushes, some youths are still searching and more bodies might be recovered.

“The attack has created serious humanitarian problems for the government. We are talking of 5,000 residents of the village displaced. Their houses were burnt by the attackers.

“Though members of the communities are alleging that the gunmen are their Berom neighbours, but that will be subject to confirmation after full investigation. I’m not in the position to confirm that now,” he said.

But leader of the Berom vigilante group in Barkin Ladi, Mr Pam Bot, denied the allegation saying “the Berom can never attack their neighbour in this manner.”

Mr Bot said “This kind of attacks is that of the Fulani militias who are lurking around the boundary between Barkin Ladi and Mangu. I have received reports. Some of the gunmen who lost their lives in the attack are confirmation that the attackers are Fulanis, not Berom.”

However, Media Officer of Operation Safe Haven, Captain Ikedichi Iweha, said, “Its true there was an attack on Kadunung village, houses were burnt, residents were displaced.”

He said “The troop got the information very late but we have taken over the area in search of the gunmen. But we can’t confirm who the attackers are because we are yet to arrest anyone.”

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