Abuja - The Plateau State government has given a mass burial to the more than 30 victims of terror whose bodies were recovered recently.
There were tearful scenes as the friends, relatives and sympathizers from neighbouring communities witnessed the burial.
The 33 corpses were recovered from Shonong village in Riyom local government area of the state. Eleven of these bodies were burnt beyond recognition.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the burial, a community leader, Iliya Vomagai said the attackers recently descended on the people at their homes.
Most victims, he said, were women and children and the aged.
It is reported that the assailants attacked victims with an assortment of weapons including swords and guns.
Vomagai added that some survivors with escaped deep machete cuts.
Meanwhile, the Special Task Force (STF) in charge of security in the state has refuted the casualty figures reported by the media.
Officials said nine bodies were recovered while seven bodies were burnt beyond recognition.
“On the said date at about 9:30am own troops received a distress call by some members of the community about an attack on two persons who were on their way to the farm by suspected Fulani militia. STF personnel deployed around the area swiftly moved to the scene of the incident to repel the attack. However, on reaching there, it was discovered that the persons were killed and at the same time the entire village was under attack by dozens of armed men,” STF added in a statement.
“The assailants immediately went on burning huts, farm produce and attacking innocent people. Own troops quickly called for reinforcement, repelled the attackers and secured the area. Nine dead bodies were recovered and about seven charred bodies after the incident. Five others who sustained injuries were rushed to Vom Christian Hospital by STF personnel. Normalcy has returned and STF personnel are currently dominating the general area with patrols. The Commander STF Major General David Enetie, accompanied by the Interim Administrator of the Local Government, was on the scene for on the spot assessment. In view of this, the general public is advised to disregard the conflicting reports on the casualty figure being spread by some section of the media.”
– CAJ News