Thursday, 17 September 2015

Communal Violence Claims 18 Lives in Plateau State

More than 100 gunmen on Tuesday night invaded Kadunung village in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, killing 18 people and injuring others.

Sources said the gunmen, suspected to be Berom youths, also set ablaze houses.

The Chairman, Management Committee of Mangu Local Government, Mr. Titus Bise, who confirmed the attack, said: “Over 150 houses were torched by the attackers.
“I was part of the people, who rescued the victims. We have recovered 11 bodies.
“In a house, we saw seven charred bodies. Eighteen people have died so far. We suspect there are more bodies in the bushes. Youths are searching for more bodies. The recovered ones have been buried.
“The attack has created a problem for the government. Over 5,000 residents have been displaced. Their houses were burnt down.

“Although members of the community allege that the gunmen are their Berom neighbours, this will be confirmed after investigation. I’m not in a position to confirm this.”
Troops in the state called ‘Operation safe haven’ described the attack as a reprisal allegedly launched by the Berom, following an earlier attack on their community.

‘Operation safe haven’ spokesman Capt. Ikedichi Iweha said: “It’s true there was an attack on Kadunung village. Houses were torched and residents were displaced.
“The troops got the information very late. But we have taken over the area in search of the gunmen. We can’t confirm the attackers are Berom because we are yet to arrest anyone. We will discover the attackers after our investigation.”

Bise appealed to government agencies at the federal and state levels to assist the victims.
The villagers have fled their homes.
The leader of the Berom vigilance group in Barkin Ladi, Mr. Pam Bot, denied the allegation, saying the Berom could never attack their neighbours in that manner.

He alleged: “This kind of attack is carried out by the Fulani militia lurking around the boundary between Barkin Ladi and Mangu. I have received reports of some of the gunmen who died in this attack. It is a confirmation that the attackers are Fulani, not Berom.
“The Berom community sympathises with the families, who lost their loved ones in the attack.”

The Nation Newspaper