Gyang Bere, Jos and Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Two soldiers serving with Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), also known as the Special Task Force (STF), were killed yesterday when local vigilante and herdsmen clashed at Dong village, a border settlement between Bassa and Jos South local government areas of Plateau State.
Spokesman for OPSH, Major Umar Adams, confirmed the killing yesterday, adding that two military personnel were also injured while seven persons were arrested in connection with the killings.
Similarly, less than 48 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari visited Benue State, herdsmen again struck and killed two brothers, Aondowase Guma and Ahanbee Guma, in Guma Local Government Area of the state.
Daily Sun gathered that the victims were returning from Yelwata market on a motorcycle around 8pm when they ran into an ambush of the killer herdsmen, who, after shooting them to death, also burnt their motorcycle.
Adams attributed the clash to the killing of 25 Irigwe persons by suspected herdsmen on Monday night and said security has been beefed up in the affected areas to curtail further killing of innocent people.
Adams said: “There was a clash on Wednesday morning between local vigilante and Fulani herdsmen around Miango areas, on the border between Bassa and Jos South local government areas. Two soldiers were killed and two others inflicted with injuries during the clash.
“We were able to arrest seven persons in connection with the killings and we have raised a fresh security outfit, which will commence surveillance in the affected communities this night to halt further killings and destruction of properties.”
Daily Sun gathered that the suspected herdsmen started attacking innocent people and burning houses in Dong Kasa communities at about 6:30am when the vigilante group rushed to the scene to resist the attack.
It was gathered that 12 vigilante members sustained gunshot injuries and are currently receiving treatment at Enos Hospital in Miango and Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos.
A witness, Lawrence Peter, said the clash took place at about 6:30am when people were setting out for business and 12 vigilance group members, who came to the rescue were injured.
He claimed that several houses were burnt by the herders, including a branch of COCIN Church, Dong Kura.
“This is getting too much as people in Rafiki and Dutse Kura were attacked by Fulani herdsmen this morning, which led to a clash between the terrorists and local vigilante, who were trying to protect the people in the areas under attack,” he said.
The source said the injured include Danladi Rigye, 35, Audu Ivy, 23, Sunday Friday, 17, Weyi Ishaya, 25, Bala Musa, 26, Yakubu Davo, 25, Jerry John, 40, Timothy John, 19, Abbah Audu, 19, Sunday John, 21, Daniel Audu, 24, and Yakubu John, 22.
Daily Sun gathered that Governor Simon Lalong has summoned stakeholders in the Fulani community and the Irigwe people in Bassa Local Government Area for a crucial security meeting with a view to find a lasting solution to the killings in Miango chiefdom of Bassa Local Government Area.
A local, Orihyev Nyaga, who also ran into an ambush by the herdsmen in Benue but escaped, said when he saw a roadblock in the area, he thought it was mounted by security operatives to check criminal activities in the area but it turned out that it was mounted by herdsmen.
Nyaga, who was shot in the left hand, said that as soon as he got to the roadblock and realized that they were herdsmen, they attempted to matchet him but he abandoned his motorcycle and escaped into the bush with a bullet wound.
He said the number of casualties would have been more had he not managed to find his way through the bush path back to the market to raise the alarm and alert other locals, who were still in the market, about the ambush. The Guma brothers had already passed before he was able to raise the alarm.
Sources from the area disclosed that the remains of the two brothers were recovered by youths and handed over to the police station at Yelwata after which they were deposited at an undisclosed mortuary in the area.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Moses Yamu, who confirmed the attack, however, said he was yet to ascertain the number of casualties at the time of filing this report.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that there was an attack in that area last night but I’m yet to get the full details as per number of casualties. I’ll let you have it as soon as I get it,” Yamu said.