An early morning attack on nine villages in Barikin Ladi Local government of Plateau state has left over 20 people dead. Gunmen, reportedly hauling explosives and shooting indiscriminately, raided the villages and left the killings in their wake.
The spokesperson of the Special Task Force (STF) in the state, Salisu Mustapha, who confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview Saturday said members of the STF have gone to the area and effected some arrests. He however, declined to mention the number of persons arrested.
“Some unknown group attacked some villages in Barikin Ladi early on Saturday and killed a lot of people,” he said.
“The attackers came in large group and for the first time not only shot their victims but also used explosives.”
Mr. Mustapha said officers have been mobilised to the area and investigations have commenced.
The STF were reported to have raided Barikin Ladi last week after a Police officer was allegedly killed and his weapon and ammunition taken away.
A Fulani umbrella association shortly after alleged that the STF burnt down their houses during the raid on the suspicion that the officer may have been killed by Fulani herdsmen in the area. The STF denied the allegations.
Security agencies in Barikin Ladi and Jos are suggesting that today’s attack may have been a revenge mission by the Fulanis over last week’s attack.
But witnesses say the attackers were fully armed and dressed in bullet-proof vest and army camouflage colour.
There are suggestions the gunmen were members of the STF but PREMIUM TIMES could not independently confirm that as at the time of publishing this.