Two soldiers, two mobile policemen and about 23 others were on Wednesday killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen during a fierce battle at Dung Kasa, Rafiki and Dutse Kura communities in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Two civilians were killed with houses razed and cars burnt during an attack
“Again and again the marauding Fulani terrorists still again killed two soldiers, two mobile police officers. The death toll is now two MOPOL, two soldiers and two civilians, making it seven,” an eyewitness stated.
But the Nigerian Army, only confirmed the death of the two soldiers.
According to the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, in a statement late on Wednesday, seven suspects had been arrested, while a number of weapons were recovered from them.
The army said 23 dead bodies were also discovered in Mararaba Dare area as the herdsmen opened fire on the troops’ convoy and the residents.
Chukwu said, “Troops of 3 Division Garrison, Jos arrested seven suspects and recovered weapons in the clash between Miango community and herdsmen at Rafiki village on Wednesday. The troops responded to distress calls to the clash reported by locals.
“As troops moved in to settle the dispute, the herdsmen opened fire on them. Two soldiers paid the supreme price and seven suspects were arrested in connection with the clashes.
“While conducting search, troops discovered 23 dead bodies at Mararaba Dare shortly before Rafiki village and many civilians were wounded. Two other soldiers wounded are receiving medical attention at 3 Division Military Hospital and Medical Services. They are stable.
“Weapons recovered include one Ak 47 assault rifle with 26 rounds of 7.62mm special and one locally made single barrel loaded with 15 rounds. Troops have intensified patrol within the general area to forestall further break down of law and order.”
Immediately after the killing of the five security operatives and two civilians, Governor Simon Lalong called an emergency security meeting from where a decision was taken to impose dusk to dawn curfew.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Rufus Bature, in a statement after the meeting, said the state had declared curfew in Bassa Local Government Area of the state after consultation with security agencies.
He added that the curfew would be within 6pm and 6am daily.
The SSG called on the affected communities to embrace peace, assuring them that efforts were on to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the problem.