In Fresh Attack, Gunmen Kill 18, Torch Several Houses in Plateau Community

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•Police arrest suspected killer of UNIJOS student

At least, no fewer than 18 persons have been reportedly confirmed dead following attack on Ancha community of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State by unknown gunmen, who also burnt several houses in the early hours of yesterday.

An eye witness from the community said the gunmen stormed Ancha and shot sporadically into the air before they began their operation.

National Publicity Secretary of Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Mr. Davidson Malison, confirmed that 18 persons were killed in the midnight attack that lasted for over two hours.

Malison said, “The attack, which lasted for over two hours, from 12:00am to 2:30am undistracted and unchecked led to the killing of 18 persons with six others injured, while 24 households with over 100 residential rooms razed down. Other properties like motor vehicles, motorcycles, and harvested food crops were also destroyed with many valuables stolen and carted away.”

Also confirming the attack, the military Special Task Force on security in Plateau (Operation Safe Haven), in a statement by its Information Officer, Major Ishaku Takwa said, “In the late hours of Tuesday, 11 January 2022, troops of Operation Safe Haven received a distress call of an attack on Ancha Community in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau.

“The troops responded swiftly and mobilised to the village. On reaching the community, the attackers had fled the village. Houses were destroyed and some villagers lost their lives during the attack.”

He added that the troops were on the trail of the assailants and details of the pursuit would be made available later.

Commander of Operation Safe Haven, Maj Gen IS Ali, however, commiserated with the families of those that lost their lives during the attack, and reiterated his resolve to ensure perpetrators of evil in the state face the consequences of their dastardly acts.

Meanwhile, vexed by repeated attacks in the state in recent days, Governor Simon Lalong, has ordered security agencies to fish out the attackers at all costs, as bringing such perpetrators to justice was the only way to halt the barbaric killings.

Lalong, in a statement by his director of press and public affairs, Simon Macham, said the attack carried out on Tuesday night was another sad tale in the unending cycle of violent attacks in the area, which has continued despite several measures taken by government.

He asked the GOC 3rd Armoured Division and Commander Operation Safe Haven, the Commissioner of Police, Department of State Services, Operation Rainbow, and other security organs in the state to utilise intelligence available from survivors and other sources to ensure that the perpetrators of the attack, and others were apprehended and exposed.

While commiserating with the families of those killed and survivors, the governor directed the State Emergency Management Agency and the Peace Building Agency to move in and assess the damage as well as offer immediate humanitarian interventions.

In another development, the governor has commended security forces for bursting a kidnap group and rescuing some victims in Barkin Ladi, describing the action as heart-warming and a proof that criminals would not be allowed to rest in the state.

At the same time, the state Police Command, has arrested the killer of the 300 Level student of the University of Jos, Miss Jennifer Anthony, whose lifeless body was found mutilated on January 1, 2022 at Domus Pacis Guest House, Jos.

Briefing the press, Commissioner of Police, Bartholomew Onyeka, paraded Moses Oko, a 20-year old boy as the suspect and boyfriend to the deceased, adding that he fled after committing the crime.

“The Command, in a bid to arrest the perpetrator, launched an aggressive manhunt on the suspect and tactically trailed him to Benue State, where he was arrested by hawked-eye police operatives of the Command. The suspect will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed,” he assured the people.

The CP said the command has also rescued one Dr. Micah Samaila of Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, who was kidnapped by gunmen, adding that the kidnappers, on sighting the operatives, engaged them in gun duel but were overpowered by the superior gunfire of the Police and in the process, abandoned the victim and fled into the bush.

The Police urged residents to cooperate and synergise with the Police by giving timely and useful information in order to fight all forms of criminalities.

Other criminals arrested by the Police included cultists, armed robbers, and human traffickers.