7 April 2013

Nigeria: Gunmen Massacre 26 in Plateau, Adamawa Attacks

Photo: Aliyu Adekunle/Vanguard
Nigerian security forces.

Jos — As multiple auto crashes in Edo State claimed over 60 lives on Friday, deliberate attacks on Nigerians were executed in both Adamawa and Plateau States resulting in the loss of 26 lives.

While 11 people were killed in an early morning attack in a remote village in Adamawa State,15 people were confirmed dead around the border of Wase town and Zango village in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Armed men attempted to invade Wase town in the early hours of yesterday but 13 of them were killed after they had felled two residents of Wase town.

In Adamawa, the unknown gunmen attacked the village of Adamawa State Deputy Governor Bala James Ngillari where they felled 11 people, including an aide to a former local government chairman.

The gunmen stormed Mildlu, Mr Ngillari's village, in Madagali local government area of Adamawa State around 2:00am yesterday and "killed" at least 11 people, police and residents said. Among the victims was Mr Bulus Buba, the Personal Assistant to a former local government chairman of Madagali, an indigene of the area told Sunday Trust yesterday.

It is unclear at the time of sending this report whether any of the deputy governor's relatives has been affected by the attack.

Although some residents said the attack started around 11:00pm on Friday, Adamawa State police spokesman DSP Mohammed Ibrahim told Sunday Trust that reports indicate that the attack happened around 2:00am yesterday.

He said the gunmen entered the village and went house-to-house "calling people by their names and slaughtering them".

"They slaughtered two persons, shot dead nine others and injured about six, who have now been taken to hospital for treatment," the spokesman disclosed.

He said police heard about the incident after the attackers had already fled the area.

DSP Ibrahim said the village is on Adamawa State's border with Borno State, and that as soon as the attackers finished perpetrating their acts, they fled into Borno State.

However, he said, armed policemen and soldiers have since been deployed to the area and are now combing the surrounding forests to track the suspects.

One indigene of the area told Sunday Trust that more than 10 houses were affected in the attack.

"The attackers went from house-to-house, picking out their victims, who they even called by name," the source said.

"They also went to the house of the deputy governor where they shot and wounded people some.

"They killed many people but I don't know exactly how many were killed or injured because I fled the village," he said.

Another villager reasoned that "Boko Haram, in most of its operations does open fire sporadically.

"In this case, the attackers called their victims by name leaving those they had no issues with in the same room alone.

"This is not the modus operandi of Boko Haram. It's the work of insiders," said a resident that didn't want to be quoted.

Madagali is also the local government area of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Ahmed Pintiri, who is currently outside the state.

His aides, however, told Sunday Trust that he had instructed them to organise a team to travel to the area to commiserate with the families of the victims on his behalf.

This attack came exactly two weeks after gunmen raided Ganye town in the southern part of the state and killed more than 25 people.

Among their victims in the Ganye attack was a prominent politician, Mr Adiel Billa, a local prison chief, a former footballer and a policeman.

More than 10 places, including Ganye prison, a local police station, the resident of the local police chief, a beer parlour, a branch of First Bank, court and department of education buildings, a library and a resident of the local district head were attacked in the Ganye incident.

In Plateau, on the other hand, the attackers were said to be Tarok militia. A youth leader in Wase, Shafi'i Sambo said the attackers were "armed Tarok militants who attempted to attack us two days ago but we repelled them.

"They came today [yesterday] around 6:00am but our youths and vigilante were alert so we were able to chase them to Zango and capture two persons."

Sambo explained that the attackers shot five youths from Wase town on their tighs and legs.

They are now receiving treatment at the Wase General Hospital, while the two captured attackers have been providing valuable information.

He added, "We captured two of the Tarok militants with their guns and they have given us useful information.

"Presently the elders of Wase are deliberating whether to hand them over to the Special Task Force or not."

Another source from the community said some youths were against handing the two captured attackers to the STF for fear of their being released and that the Emir of Wase had insisted that the Tarok community must come to Wase to claim their men.

He explained, "Some of us believe that when we hand them over to the STF, they will hand them over to the police and before you know it, they will release them." Sunday Trust gathered that about seven persons were also killed in Karkashi village in Langtang South local government area of Plateau State while scores sustained gunshot wounds in a midnight attack.

When contacted, the Media and Information Officer of the STF, Captain Salisu Mustapha said there was a security threat around Zango but that the prompt intervention of the STF repelled the attackers.

Mustapha explained that he was not aware of any casualty but the communities involved had already sat to resolve the lingering tension.

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