Posted by News Express | 7 January 2014 | 3,434 times
At least 30 people were killed by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in the early hours of yesterday, during an attack on Shonong village in Bachit district of Riyom local government area of Plateau State.
Investigations revealed that over 25 other people received gunshot wounds from the gunmen.
It was also gathered that over 40 houses were burnt down with valuable items including domestic animals belonging to the villagers killed and some taken away by the attackers.
According to an eyewitness, the attackers stormed Shonong community, comprising four different villages, about 7am yesterday and started shooting sporadically, killing over 30 people in the process.
A survivor of the incident, who had gunshot injuries and is receiving medical attention at the Vom Christian Hospital, Shom Toma, said the attackers stormed the village in their hundreds when most of the villagers had gone to the farms, killing mostly children, women and the aged.
He added that he escaped from the attackers as he was moulding blocks around his house when they invaded the villages.
Another eyewitness who survived the carnage said about 30 bodies had been discovered and that the search team was still working. Many of the victims who received serious injuries ran into the bush for their lives, he said.
According to him, many people were still missing, among them children who ran in different directions to escape from the attackers.
The village head of Attarkar and that of Shonong were killed two days before Christmas and were buried.
Majority leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly and member representing Riyom constituency, Hon. Daniel Dem, confirmed the development, saying that over 30 people were killed.
He added that despite the presence of the personnel of the Special Task Force (STF) in the area, the gunmen still operated with impunity.
He said, “If the military are there in the village and the attack took place at about 8am and lasted till afternoon, then, the military have so many questions to answer.”
Dem condemned the attack while speaking from Vom Christian Hospital where about 20 survivors were receiving medical attention.
He also lamented, “We have security men there and if the attack will start from 8am until afternoon, I think something must be wrong. What are the military there for? If we will have attack from morning to afternoon and people killed, houses burnt, I think the military should be asked why they were there to protect lives and property of the people.”
He further said, “We have tried to get in touch with them and they said they were on ground. And what then happened from morning to evening that over 30 people were killed and with so many casualties lying in the hospital?”
•Text adapted from a LEADERSHIP report. Photo shows Plateau State Governor David Jang.
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