Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Barkin Ladi Killings - Death Toll Rises to 10

The number of persons killed by unknown gunmen who stormed a bar at Heipang area of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State late Monday night has risen to 10. Eight deaths were previously reported but two more victims were said to have died in hospital.

LEADERSHIP checks revealed that the gunmen who stormed the bar at about 9.30 pm Monday night were wearing military uniforms and riding in a Hilux van.

The Special Task Force (STF), code-named 'Operation Safe Haven', which was deployed to restore law and order to the crises-torn area, also confirmed that 10 persons had died from the shooting.

STF spokesman, Captain Salisu Mustapha, in a statement made available to newsmen in Jos, yesterday, said the gunmen opened fire on customers who came to unwind at the bar, killing eight persons at the spot, with two other dying from bullet wounds at the hospital.

However, the chairman of Barkin LGA, Emmanuel Loman, while giving an update yesterday in Jos, said the gangsters had dressed in 'Jalabia' and driven in a Vectra brand car, to attack innocent persons at the relaxation spot at Heipang town.

According to him, ten people lost their lives while scores of others were injured and had been taken to hospital.

Loman alleged that one Cpl Salisu Gidado, a mobile policeman serving with the STF in Jos, had worn same Jalabia dress as the attackers, and had been identified by victims who survived the attack as one of the bandits. He added that the said Gidado was presently receiving medical attention in a hospital.

He further disclosed that the policeman was serving in Tatu Yelwa village in Heipang district of Barkin Ladi LGA, and that he was mistakenly shot by one of his colleagues and his gun taken away after they thought he was dead.

Meanwhile, the remains of the ten persons killed had been deposited at the mortuary of the Plateau State Specialist Hospital.

The statement further said that, in protest of the killings, members of the community barricaded the highway, preventing commuters from using the road, but STF deployed troops along the highway to disperse the protesting youths, and brought the situation under control

The statement further said the STF was monitoring the situation to avert any ugly incidence on commuters plying the road, adding that efforts were on to apprehend those behind the dastardly act.

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