From Jude Owuamanam, Jos

A tragic incident has occurred in Zurak, Bashar village, Wase local government area of Plateau state, where bandits attacked the community, killing at least 40 people and setting several houses ablaze.

This attack comes less than a month after the Commander of Operation Rainbow, Gen. Gakji Shipi, announced that repentant bandits in the area had returned seven AK 47 rifles, indicating a potential willingness to lay down their arms.

According to reports, the bandits stormed the village on motorcycles at around 7:00 p.m. on Monday, armed with sophisticated weapons. They opened fire on residents indiscriminately, killing over 40 people, including members of the local vigilance group who attempted to defend the community.

An eyewitness, Abdullahi Musa, who narrowly escaped the attack, described the event as unexpected. He stated that the bandits’ superior firepower overwhelmed the local vigilantes.

“The attack came to us as a surprise because we have no issue with them. They came in large numbers and opened fire on the residents at random, killing more than 40 people. The majority of those killed were vigilantes,” Musa said.

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The attack also resulted in the burning of several houses, causing significant damage to the community. The lack of a reliable communication network delayed the arrival of security forces, who were unable to respond promptly to the situation.

Reports indicate that the attack lasted for over an hour, injuring several residents, primarily women, who are currently receiving medical attention at a nearby hospital.

A youth leader in the area, Ibrahim Umar Bako, believes the death toll could be higher than 60. He described the bandits’ arrival on motorcycles and their indiscriminate attack on the community.

Following the attack, the community has been deserted as residents have fled for their safety.

The Plateau State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Alfred Alabo, could not be reached for comment as his phone was switched off at the time of reporting.

This incident highlights the ongoing security challenges in parts of Nigeria, particularly in rural communities. The brutality and senselessness of the attack have left the community devastated and in urgent need of support.

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