The Plateau State Police Command has said that about 20 persons were killed and over 200 houses razed during an attack on four villages in Angwan-Waran, Riyom Local Government Area on Tuesday.
The villages are Gwon, Gwarama, Gwarim and Torok in Rim District. The gunmen also attacked Gida Bua in Langtang South Local Government Area.
It was gathered that 16 persons were burnt to death and 200 homes razed in Riyom Local Government, while four people were said to have been killed in the Langtang South Local Government attack.
A 65-year-old man, Habila Dachung, who lost his wife in Riyom, alleged that Fulani herdsmen and soldiers of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis were the prime suspects.
“I saw them in military uniform. These armed Fulani, accompanied by soldiers, stormed our village to kill our people; their guns woke us up at 2:30 a.m.”
House of Assembly Majority leader, representing Riyom, Daniel Dem, said the victims were mostly women and children. “I also believe the Special Task Force deployed to restore order is involved in the killings. In most of the villages, there are STF officers, why are they not going after the attackers, if they are not involved?”
The state police command confirmed the attack, but not the casualty figures, as Commissioner of Police, Chris Olakpe said in Jos that the attackers fled the scene before the arrival of security agents.
He said the police and STF officials stepped in and restored normalcy. “To prevent a recurrence, the police and the STF deployed a team of security personnel to the villages, while efforts are on to apprehend the attackers,” he added.
The commissioner advised the public to help security agencies with information leading to the arrest of the attackers.
STF Media Officer Capt. Salisu Mustapha said the invaders burnt unspecified number of houses before escaping.
Mustapha said the STF arrested three persons found with arms suspected to have been used in the attack. “We are interrogating the suspects,” he said.