For allegedly killing four soldiers, their counterparts at the weekend launched a reprisal attack on communities in Kumbun area of Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State where 400 people are feared dead.
The Traditional Ruler of Kumbun, Ponzhi Jessey Miri, made the allegation yesterday when he gave account of the soldiers’ invasion of his community on Saturday.
He claimed that the rampaging soldiers killed over 400 persons whose bodies still littered three Taroh villages of Kadarko, Kurmi and Wadata in Wase council.
solidersIt was learnt that the soldiers stormed the villages in over 40 trucks on Saturday following reports that four soldiers were killed at Plateau border with Angwan Nanmi in Karin Lamido Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Miri said: “We are still in shock over what the military did to our people. As I speak to you, the corpses of our people killed by the soldiers still litter the communities. Thousands of houses were burnt and some villagers, including children and the aged were burnt in their homes.
But spokesman of the Special Task Force, STF, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, had soon after the incident on Saturday, denied that soldiers carried out the killings.
He said that there was no truth in the claim, asserting that his men did not attack anybody.
According to him, following frequent attacks on communities around the Plateau-Taraba borders by some militiamen, the STF and soldiers from the 3 Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army had been carrying out operations targeted at flushing out the militiamen.
He stated that the soldiers who were working to protect innocent civilians could not turn around to kill them.
A resident of one of the affected villages who did not want his name in print insisted that hundreds of his kinsmen were killed by the soldiers. He said that when the soldiers arrived in the area they opened fire on innocent people and burnt their houses.
“It is not still clear to us why the soldiers opened fire on our people who they are supposed to defend” he said.