Despite the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on Jos North, Jos South and Bassa local government areas, suspected armed bandits again killed not less than 35 people Tuesday night when they attacked Yelwan Zangam, an Anaguta community of Jos North local government area of Plateau State.
The community is behind the University of Jos. Our correspondent gathered that the bandits overwhelmed the community and in the process killed 35 people.
In a related development, suspected herdsmen at Yelwata, Guma local government area of Benue State killed eight people including a woman and two children. Our correspondent gathered that the incident took place at about 6:39pm when the herders invaded communities around Yelwata Market and started shooting sporadically at anyone on sight leading to the death of eight persons while others sustained various degree of injuries.
An eyewitness in Yelwan Zangam who did not want his name in print said the gunmen invaded the community at about 9pm on Tuesday burning houses and shooting anyone on sight. He said he counted more than 30 bodies with some bodies decapitated beyond recognition in the area.
It was learnt that the attackers destroyed the bridge leading to the Anaguta community thereby preventing any access to bring help before launching their attacks.
Meanwhile, troops of “Operation Safe Haven OPSH” have said Zangam community of Yelwa in Jos north local government area of Plateau State also came under attack by suspected gunmen.
According to OPSH the attackers came in the night and started house to house shooting of members of the community noting that the gunmen also destroyed houses and the bridge linking the town to the community making access to the area difficult for security agencies.
Military information officer, Major Ishaku Takwa in a statement issued in Jos said efforts to save the community were slowed down by the destruction of the bridge by the marauders.
He added that the troops eventually got to the scene of the attack by navigating through other villages and met some houses already burnt and people killed.
In the same vein, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State said he was appalled by yet another attack at Yelwa Zangam village of Jos North local government area where properties were destroyed and some persons killed.
The governor in a statement issued by the director of press and public affairs, Simon Makut Macham said Lalong has condemned the barbaric act and directed security agencies who have already arrested 10 suspects in connection with the attack to intensify efforts in tracking down the other assailants and their sponsors in order to bring them to justice.
“Lalong is furious over the incident which security reports indicate was carefully planned as the bridge linking the village was said to have been destroyed in order to deny security forces access to the area during the attack,” he said.
Similarly, the senator representing Plateau North senatorial district Barr Istifanus Gyang said he is gravely disturbed over the killing of over 35 people when terror was visited on Yelwa Zangam.
He expressed outrage by the serial and continuing terror attacks on communities in Plateau State with thousands of lives brutally massacred over the years.
The senator in a statement issued in Jos by the special assistant media and protocol, Musa Ibrahim Ashoms pointed out that the situation on the Plateau is that of a people abandoned to their fate by the federal government.
LEADERSHIP reports that the 6pm to 6am curfew in Jos South and Bassa LGAs remain in place until further notice. Only people on essential duties such as health personnel, journalists, fire service and paramilitary among others, are exempted from the curfew but should carry means of identification with them at all times.
The governor called for calm as he is grieved by the attacks. He again sympathises with the victims, but wants them to show restraint and allow government to handle the matter to disallow hoodlums from taking advantage of the unfortunate situation to cause mayhem and destruction in the state.
Confirming the killings in Benue, the police public relations officer DSP Catherine Anene told our correspondent that “Yesterday being August 24, at about 7:45pm we received an information that unknown gunmen invaded Yelwata community and attacked the first compound that was nearest to the forest killing six persons on the spot. The bandits on sighting the police officers who were trailing them opened fire, but the police responded and were able to repel them.”
In a telephone interview the council chairman Caleb Abah said the attackers invaded the community on Yelwata market day while the people were still in the market and opened fire killing eight persons on the spot, while two persons sustained various degrees of injuries, while others are still missing.