At least 160 people were killed in attacks by armed groups between Saturday evening and Monday in several villages in Plateau State, central Nigeria, local authorities announced on Monday.
“The hostilities that broke out on Saturday were continuing on Monday morning,” Monday Kassah, the chairman of the Bokkos government council, a constituency located in this region that has been plagued by religious and ethnic tensions for several years, told Africanewsguru.com.
“At least 113 bodies have been found”, he added, whereas the death toll given by the army on Sunday evening was 16.
And “more than 300 people” were wounded and transferred to hospitals in Bokkos, Jos and Barkin Ladi, said Monday Kassah.
Armed groups, locally referred to as “bandits”, attacked “no less than 20 villages” between Saturday evening and Monday morning, he added, stressing that “the attacks were well coordinated”.
In addition to the 113 dead in the Bokkos constituency, “at least 50 people were killed” in four villages in the neighboring Barkin Ladi constituency, according to Dickson Chollom, a member of the local assembly.
“We will not succumb to the methods of these merchants of death; we are united in our desire for peace and justice”, he told our journalist.
On Sunday, Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang described the armed action as “barbaric, brutal and unjustified”.
“Proactive measures will be taken by the government to curb the ongoing attacks on innocent citizens”, said Gyang Bere, the governor’s spokesman.
Gunfire could still be heard late Sunday afternoon, according to a local source.
The NGO Amnesty International reacted to the violence on its X account, judging that “the Nigerian authorities have consistently failed in their attempts to put an end to these frequent attacks in Plateau State”.
The populations of north-western and central Nigeria live in terror of attacks by jihadist groups and criminal gangs who pillage villages and kill or kidnap their inhabitants.