By Juliet Odey
The suspected Fulani herdsmen on Sunday attacked nine villages in Barikin Ladi Local government of Plateau state, 20 people confirmed dead.
The killings came at the time when the governor of the state, Simon Lalong, was in Beijing, China, with President Muhammadu Buhari for the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation scheduled to hold from September 3 to 4.
The latest killings came barely 24 hours after the alarm raised by the Executive Director of Stephanos Foundation, a civil rights’ organisation, Mark Lipdo, of fresh plots by the herdsmen to attack some villages in the State.
The spokesperson of the Special Task Force (STF) in the state, Salisu Mustapha, who confirmed the incident said members of the STF have gone to the area and effected some arrests. He however, declined to mention the number of persons arrested.
Mr. Mustapha said officers have been mobilised to the area and investigations have commenced.
The STF were reported to have raided Barikin Ladi last week after a Police officer was allegedly killed and his weapon and ammunition taken away.
A Fulani umbrella association shortly after alleged that the STF burnt down their houses during the raid on the suspicion that the officer may have been killed by Fulani herdsmen in the area. The STF denied the allegations.
Security agencies in Barikin Ladi and Jos are suggesting that today’s attack may have been a revenge mission by the Fulanis over last week’s attack.
But witnesses say the attackers were fully armed and dressed in bullet-proof vest and army camouflage colour.
By Juliet Odey