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Five family members and 5 others killed as gunmen attack Mangu and Bokkos communities

Gunmen suspected to be Fulani militias have killed 10 persons in an attack in Mandung-Mushu and Kopnanle villages in Mangu and Bokkos Local Government Areas of Plateau State.

It was gathered that the attack began at about 10pm on Friday, April 12, 2024, after the villagers had retired for the day and lasted for two hours.

A source told the Daily Trust that the attack has created tension in Bokkos town and environs as some of the victims and those with gunshot wounds were brought to Cottage Hospital in the town.

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The source said five members of one family were killed in the attack, adding that a similar attack last week led to the death of his brother’s pregnant wife.

In a statement on Saturday, April 13, Bokkos Cultural Council (BCDC) Vanguard condemned the attack, saying the attackers targeted innocent, unarmed and peaceful residents as they slept. 

The statement signed by the Chairman of BCDC Vanguard, Barr, Farmasum Fuddang, said the unfortunate incident happened despite security presence nearby.

“Last night, April 12, our community in the Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau state faced a horrific attack resulting in the senseless slaughter of at least ten of our members. Despite the presence of security forces, including the DSS, army, and Police, the perpetrators, identified as Fulani terrorists, were allowed to carry out their heinous acts with impunity,” the statement read. 

“Under the cover of darkness, more than fifty armed terrorists descended upon the villages of Mandung-Mushu and Kopnanle, targeting innocent, unarmed, and peaceful residents as they slept. The assailants set fire to homes and a place of worship, mercilessly gunning down fleeing civilians while nearby soldiers failed to intervene effectively.

“This brazen attack, which predominantly targeted children, appears to be part of a calculated effort to instil fear and perpetrate further displacement within our communities. We condemn this act of terror, which we believe is aligned with a broader agenda to impose sharia law and seize control of our lands.

“Just hours before this tragedy unfolded, BCDC Vanguard submitted a petition to the Department of State Services (DSS), challenging a leaked memo that falsely accused our people of planning violence against Fulani residents. We unequivocally stated that the intelligence behind the memo was fabricated and defamatory.

“Despite our efforts to rectify these falsehoods, the security apparatus failed to protect our community from the very threats we highlighted. We are appalled by the apparent prioritisation of the lives of Fulani residents over our own and demand answers from the authorities.

“The timing of this attack, following closely on the heels of the DSS’s erroneous warning of an impending assault on Fulani communities. 

Confirming the incident, Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang condemned in strong terms, the renewed deadly attacks that have claimed several lives and property. 

“The attacks are unfortunate and unacceptable, especially now that the government is diligently working to restore peace and security; and facilitate the return of displaced persons to their homes, ”the Governor stated.

In a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs (DOPA), Gyang Bere, the governor warned perpetrators of these dastardly acts to desist forthwith as government is determined to fish them out to face justice.

While appreciating the intervention of Security Agencies in the protection of lives and property in the state, the governor urged them to redouble their efforts in discharging their constitutional responsibility of protecting innocent communities.

He expressed deep sympathy to the bereaved families and the affected communities and prayed for quick healing of those who sustained gunshot injuries.

The Governor called on community stakeholders across the state to activate dispute resolution mechanisms in tackling issues of disagreement and report without delay, early warning signs to Constituted authorities for prompt intervention.

He urged for vigilance and fostering of inter-community relations by residents of the state, particularly now that the rainy season is gearing up to ensure a safer and successful farming period.

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