Vanguard (Lagos)

23 February 2013

Nigeria: 10 Killed in Fresh Attack in Plateau

Jos — The spate of killings in Plateau State again reared its head on Thursday as gunmen stormed Kogwon village in Jos South Local Government Area killing 10 people and injuring two others by suspected herdsmen.

This was even as the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, yesterday engaged suspected Boko Haram members in a deadly clash yesterday in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Sources said that the clash has left casualties on both sides.

It was said that the heavy fighting started when some armed terrorists attempted to bomb the Ibrahim Taiwo Police Station, along Baga Street, but were repelled by the security operatives at the entrance of the police station.

At the time of this report, sources told Saturday Vanguard that many houses suspected to be harbouring the sect members in Ummarari and Jajeri were being set ablaze by the security forces.

Earlier on Thursday, a suspected suicide bomber detonated an Improvised Explosive Device , IED, on a JTF patrol vehicle along Gamboru -Customs road in Maiduguri, leading to heavy exchange of gunfire which claimed the lives of three unidentified persons.

JTF spokesman, Lt Col. Sagir Musa could not be reached for his comments as at press time.

However, the night incident in Jos, it was gathered started at about 10pm during the 6am to 9pm curfew hours and lasted for over five hours.

The gunmen dressed in black with some wearing military helmets struck around 9 pm shooting sporadically killing and injuring in the process, according to eyewitnesses.

An eyewitness, Habila Musa who narrowly escaped the assassins' bullets said four of his brothers were killed along with six others in the operation which lasted about an hour.

"It was at about 9 pm, I was reading my books when I had sporadic gun shots behind my room. My door was still open at the time so I quickly moved out and started shouting, but we were helpless because no military checkpoint was close by", he said.

He said those injured were receiving treatment in a hospital which he did not disclose.

Reacting to the killings, District Head of Vwang, Da Choji Balack condemned the attack alleging that the herdsmen could not have carried out such a well organized attack n their own.

He reiterated earlier calls for the immediate withdrawal of men of the Special Task Force, STF, expressing optimism that their withdrawal would return peace to the state.

Police spokesman in the state, Mr. John Onuigbo confirmed the incident but said he was yet to get details.

Meanwhile a group known as Northern Advancement of Peace, Harmony and Development in a reaction, urged governors of the Northern states come together and work out modalities to put an end to the senseless killings in Plateau and other crisis-ridden states in the North.

In a press statement signed by its President Melvin Ejeh called on youths in the state to be alert and learn to defend themselves.

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