Village attack: Plateau punctures STF's claim, buries 33 victims

By The Citizen

A day after suspected herdsmen attacked Shonong Village in Riyom Local Government  of Plateau State, 33 people were given mass burial on Tuesday amid wailing by friends, sympathisers and family members.

The number of the people buried in the town on Tuesday, punctured the claim by the Special Task Force on security in the state which on Tuesday faulted media that no fewer than 30 persons were killed in the village by heavily armed gunmen, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

The STF had said 16 people were killed in the broad day attack while five persons were  injured.

Shortly  after the mass burial,  the community leader, Mr. Ilya Vomagai, said the attackers, armed with sophisticated weapon arrived the community on Monday at about 9am   when most of the able-bodied men had gone to farm.

He said the armed men  descended on the people around, most  of whom were aged people, women and children and massacred them.

Illiya said, 'The attackers had a field day and equally burnt some of those killed beyond recognition. The attack lasted for three hours but was later repelled by men of the STF.'

Meanwhile, the Plateau State Government on Tuesday, decried  Monday 's attack on Shonong village .

Our correspondent gathered that three more bodies were uncovered in a bush by the villagers.

The government, in a statement by the  state Commissioner of Information Mr Yiljab Abraham, on Tuesday, described the incident as regrettable, urging the security agencies in the state to fish out the perpetrators  and bring them to justice..

The statement said the  'unprovoked' killing of community members and burning of their homes and food crops were  highly provocative, condemnable and barbaric.

It said, 'It is becoming increasingly apparent that the attackers' tactic is to displace communities and ultimately occupy their homes by striking them with terror and unwarranted fury.

''However, these will not succeed due to security measures being taken and increased community vigilance.'

Abraham added that the Plateau State Government was  working with the various security agencies with a view to  adopting extra measures to defeat 'this emerging insurgency that aimed  at decimating and displacing communities in order to occupy their land.' PUNCH