30 killed in Plateau morning attack

Thirty people have been killed in an early morning attack reportedly carried out by gunmen, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, in Shonong village of Bashit District, Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.

It was gathered that 25 others were injured and over 40 houses set ablaze by the attackers yesterday.

An eyewitness said the attackers stormed Shonong community, which consists of four villages, at about 7am, shooting sporadically and killing over 30 people.

The attack was said to have lasted till noon with no security intervention.

A survivor, Shom Toma, who is receiving treatment at the Vom Christian Hospital, said the attackers stormed the village at about 7am when most of the villagers had gone to their farms, killing mostly children, women and the aged.

He said he narrowly escaped as he was molding blocks around his house when the invaders arrived.

An eyewitness said 30 bodies have been discovered and the search operation is still on as many of the injured victims fled into the bush for safety.

He said many residents are still missing, among them children.

The witness said soldiers of the Special Task Force did not come to their rescue.

It was learnt that the acting village heads of Attarkar and Shonong villages were killed two days before Christmas.

The Majority Leader of the House of Assembly and member representing Riyom Constituency, Daniel Dem, confirmed that over 30 people were killed.

He said despite the presence of the personnel of the Special Task Force (STF) in the area, the gunmen still operated with impunity.

“If the military were there in the village and the attack took place at about 8am and lasted till noon, then the military has so many questions to answer.”

Dem, who visited survivors at the Vom Christian Hospital, said: “We have security men there and if the attack started from 8am till noon, I think something must be wrong, what are the military there for?

“If there was an attack from morning till noon and people were killed, houses razed, I think the military should be asked why they are there to protect lives and property.

“We have tried to get in touch with them and they said they are on ground. They should please explain what happened from morning till noon. This is absurd and I am begining to suspect some connivance.”

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