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112 killed, 47 injured as killer herdsmen level Plateau villages on Christmas Eve

Suspected pastoralists on a deadly rampage across two local government areas of Plateau have killed no fewer than 112 residents and injured 47 others.

Peoples Gazette heard from security sources and local chiefs that the attackers executed a string of coordinated attacks on at least 12 communities spanning Barkin Ladi and Bokkos council areas on Christmas Eve.

“The attack started on Saturday evening when the herdsmen made separate entries and started butchering people and continued until midnight on Sunday,” a security source said under anonymity to wait for an official police statement. “We don’t know how they obtained the equipment they used but no group should have this capacity.”

Some of the villages affected include Ruku, Hurum, Darwat, Mai Yanga Sabo in Gashi and Ropp districts of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.

Solomon Musa, president of Berom Youth Moulders-Association, said at least 60 bodies were recovered in Bokkos, about 52 kilometres southeast of Jos, as of Monday afternoon, while 26 bodies were found in Ropp and Gashi. A police inspector said the combined fatalities had surpassed 112 residents, mainly women and children.

“They evacuated 47 people with different injuries to hospitals and clinics,” a local chief, Joseph Gwamzhi, said. “In some communities, the attacks lasted more than five hours.”

Witnesses further said the security forces were overwhelmed during the attacks, rendering them incapable of confronting the assailants, some of whom were reportedly clad in military fatigues.

A spokesman the police in Plateau did not return a request seeking comments about police response. A government spokesman said a statement would be circulated on the situation.

The attack could mark the first test for Governor Caleb Muftwang, who assumed office in May on the back of a vow to contain the decades-long crisis between nomadic herders and villages over shrinking natural resources in the region.