5 February 2014

Nigeria: Gunmen Kill 80 in Plateau, Kaduna, Yobe

Photo: Premium Times
Boko Haram

Some 80 persons have been killed by gunmen in separate attacks on villages in Plateau, Kaduna and Yobe States.

In Plateau State, some 30 persons, including two soldiers, were killed in two villages in Riyom Local Government Area, barely 24 hours after the state police command met with stakeholders towards finding a lasting solution to the spate of killings in the state.

Twenty others, mostly traders, were also killed on Monday night when gunmen, suspected to be members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect, attacked a local market in Yobe town.

Another set of gunmen, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, killed some 30 persons when they invaded three villages in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

An eyewitness, who narrowly escaped to Jos during the attack in Plateau State, told reporters yesterday that the attackers stormed Rajak and Atakar at about 3 am on Monday and shot to death the villagers.

He said scores of others sustained wounds from gunshots and machete cuts while several houses were razed.

He put the death tolls at 19 in Rajat and 11 in Atakar. Confirming the story, the member representing Riyom constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr. Daniel Dem, described the incident as pathetic.

He said among those killed were two members of the Special Task Force (STF) keeping peace in the state.

"As I speak now, those killed are being given mass burial. Scores that were injured have been taken to the hospitals, while many others have fled their homes to neighbouring villages in Kaduna State," he said.

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Felicia Anselm, confirmed the attacks but declined to give the casualty figure because she had not been briefed about the death toll.

Eighteen of those killed in Yobe State met their death when the gunmen attacked Kukawa and Dokshi, in Gulani Local Government Area, on Monday night.

The gunmen, who injured several others, were also said to have killed a lecturer at the College of Agriculture, Gujba, said to be returning from Ashaka, Gombe State, at Buni Gari, while they were fleeing the scene of their invasion.

The Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Sanusi Rufai, confirmed that 18 traders were killed by the bandits in the two villages.

"The traders were ambushed by the bandits while travelling back from Ngalda local market. The bandits attacked and killed 18 traders, 10 from Kukawa and eight from Dokshi villages and took away their money estimated at millions of naira. The bandits were masked and were wearing army uniform," he told reporters Tuesday.

He explained that the gunmen also ran into a quarry and attacked policemen attached to the quarry plant in the area, killing one policeman.

Also in Kaduna State, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen were reported to have invaded three villages in Kaura Local Government Area, killing about 30 people. Several houses were also burnt.

The three villages, according to sources, are Kirim, Zagan and Zandyen, all bordering Plateau State. The bandits were said to be many and were armed with sophisticated weapons.

A resident of Zankan, Mr. Bulus Gwaza, said the gunmen invaded the three neighbouring communities at about midnight and started shooting indiscriminately. He said: "Right now, we have buried a total of over 30 corpses from the three villages and many people are still missing."

Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Adenaike, who confirmed the incident in a telephone interview, said he was not in a position to give details of the attack yet.

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