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Unknown Gunmen Kill 20 In Plateau Amidst Easter Celebrations

As Christians in Nigeria joined their counterparts across the world to celebrate Easter, which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, gunmen on Thursday night unleashed violence on the quiet Ganawuri chiefdom of Riyom Council, Plateau State, leaving no fewer than 20 people dead.
Earlier that same day, unknown gunmen killed over 24 residents and two mobile policemen attached to the Special Task Force (STF) in Mangor village in Bokkos Council.

According to a reliable source: “I witnessed the Ganawuri mayhem. I was hiding on top of a big mango tree when the unknown gunmen came.

“When they came, our vigilante group alerted us to take cover and I quickly climbed the mango tree and I saw everything.

“The people were wearing masks and they did not speak, making it difficult to know where they were from. They were shooting at random and when the whole drama was over, I came down from the tree.

“In fact, I was one of the first to arrive the scene. I counted from different points up to 20 dead bodies.”

He added: “The STF personnel concentrated their attention on the massacre in Bokkos and almost rendered us here in Ganawuri impotent, as they thought nothing could happen in Ganawuri.

“But they were deceived. The attackers came on Thursday night and they attacked. Nobody was there to resist them. They had a field day.”

The source added that before STF personnel could come, the havoc had been done.

When contacted Friday for confirmation and comments, Navy Lt. Jude Akpa, who is holding forte for the STF spokesman, Captain Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha, said: “There were unknown gunmen who invaded the community at 11.45pm on Thursday and killed about nine people, leaving three people seriously injured, and they are in the hospital for treatment.

Akpa explained that no arrest was made, adding that the attackers fled immediately the STF personnel arrived the scene.

“Our personnel deployed to the area were the ones who rushed the victims to the hospital. The attackers took the advantage of the happening in Bokkos earlier and struck.”

The residents said they suspected the involvement of hired Fulani militia in the deadly attack.

In a statement yesterday, the Plateau State Government described the killings as unfortunate, bearing in mind the implication of creating disaffection among communities.

It urged the local government authorities to take measures to safeguard lives and property.  As usual, economic activities were paralysed, as nobody could come out to transact any business.

Another eyewitness said the gunmen came in large numbers and carried very sophisticated weapons, saying: “They were just shooting and were not interested in our property.”

Contacted on phone, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Olakpe, confirmed the attack, but did not disclose the number of fatalities.

He said everything was calm at the moment, as the Police, in collaboration with the STF and other security agencies, had taken control of the situation and taken steps to track down the attackers.
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