No fewer than 12 people were killed by gunmen during an assault on a village in Taraba State, North Eastern Nigeria with over 40 others injured on Sunday night.
This was disclosed by the police and residents on Monday.
“Some gunmen attacked Natirde village and killed 12 people while about 40 others were injured,” the state police spokesperson, Joseph Kwaji, said.
He said a unit of anti-riot police and soldiers were deployed to the area to track the assailants.
Some villagers alleged that the gunmen were Jukuns. Police did not confirm that claim.
According to reports, the assailants armed with guns struck at a wedding celebration at Natire village, Gassol local government.
“They opened fire on the crowd that gathered for the celebration during which over 10 persons were killed and several others injured,” said Muhammad Saidu, a councilor representing the community.
One of the villagers now admitted in a nearby hospital, Dan Garba, said, “We were celebrating in the village and before you know it, some Jukuns crossed over and started firing shots at us. I sustained injuries on my leg while many others were killed.”
Another local, Danladi Bitrus, stated that the gunmen, dressed-up in military uniforms, stormed the village, and started shooting the residents on sight.
The southern part of the state has been torn apart by ethno-religious violence, involving the mostly Christian Jukun against their Muslim Hausa and Fulani neighbours; all rivals in the race for political control of the state.