Plateau attacks: Police, residents give conflicting reports as death toll rises to 16

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The death toll from the attacks on communities in Plateau State has risen to 16, the Police have said, but residents claimed 25 people have been killed. Residents blamed herdsmen for the attack on communities in Bokkos Local Government Area, including on the days President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state. File: Clash in Plateau Sunday, the state’s Police Command confirmed the arrest of a herdsman with a military AK-47 rifle.

Terna Tyopev, the Command’s spokesman, who confirmed the arrest  in Jos, gave the rifle’s number as HC2614. He said the herdsman, Muhammadu Bimini, was arrested by mobile police officers on March 8, at Daffo. Tyopev said the suspect had been transferred from Bokkos to the state Criminal Investigation Department, CID, in Jos and was already being interrogated. The Police spokesman said 16 people had been confirmed killed in the multiple attacks on several villages between Wednesday, March 7, and Friday, March 9.

He said the Command had deployed more personnel to restore peace to the troubled areas, and advised the people to remain calm and avoid taking laws into their hands. Meanwhile, community leaders, who briefed journalists in Jos Sunday, said 25 people were killed in the attacks, while many others were still missing. Represented by Mamot Adams and Macham Makut, the community said the bodies of those killed were recovered and given mass burials on Friday and Saturday.

The community leaders blamed the attacks on herdsmen and listed villages attacked to include Nghakudung, Shilim, Morok, Mandung, Faram, Filla and Hotom. Also attacked were Dai, Kungul, Hurum, Dahua, Malul, Warrem, Josho and Ganda.

They said more than 5,000 people had been displaced, adding that some of them were in camps run by Churches. They called on security agencies to intervene toward halting the attacks to restore permanent peace to the communities. “We want government to take urgent steps to end the attacks because our youths are already agitated,” one of the elders added. Vanguard

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