Gunmen were reported to have killed unconfirmed number of persons in a Wednesday night attack on Mile-Bakwai village in Bokkos, Plateau.
Navy Capt. Jude Akpa, the Media Officer of the Special Task Force (STF) maintaining the peace in Plateau, confirmed the attack and said that the attackers shot and injured two officers of the STF, all of them mobile policemen.
He, however, said that the casualty figure was “still being verified’’, but confirmed that men of the STF killed six of the attackers and made some arrests.
However, Mr Zakka Akos, the Chairman, Bokkos Local Government, confirmed that 18 bodies were recovered at the scene of the attack.
Also Dr Kumbem Temang of Cottage Hospital, Bokkos confirmed that 18 people were killed and among them was a 70 year old woman known as Kaka Kiwo.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent quotes a victim of the attack, one Majau Yohanna, as saying that the attackers invaded the village “from 7 p.m. not long after we returned from our farms and were resting in our respective houses.
“They (attackers) came in large numbers and had very sophisticated weapons,’’ Yohanna, currently on admission at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Jos told NAN.
According to him, “the attackers just descended on the villagers and started shooting everyone on sight. We had to run for our dear lives. In the process, some of us were shot down while trying to escape.
“I was shot on my right rib and it was just God that saved me. It is a miracle that I am still alive,’’ he said.
Mr Thomas Mafai, a relation of Yohanna, who rushed him to BUTH because of the serious injuries he sustained, claimed that he counted 20 bodies, including two policemen that were killed during the attack on the village.
“Some of the victims are being treated at the Dung Hospital, Bokkos,” he said.
Mafai however confirmed that six of the attackers were killed by men of the STF maintaining peace in Plateau.
When contacted, the Plateau Police Commissioner, Mr Chris Olakpe, said he was “very busy strategising with my Divisional Police Officers and will not want any encumbrances.”
Akpa, while confirming the attack, said that the two policemen shot by the attackers were currently on admission at the Barkin Ladi General Hospital.
“But like I told you, we are not sure of the casualty figure. We are still verifying. It was a night attack so people could have been killed anywhere. People were killed, but we cannot confirm the number of those killed. The STF Commander there is still verifying the figures,’’ he added.
He also could not confirm the number of those arrested, but declared that normalcy had been restored to the affected area.
“Our men are on ground there and things are calm,’’ he said.
A NAN correspondent, who visited Bokkos town, reports that there was so much confusion among the fear-stricken residents and other visitors that had entered the town for business in its usually very busy Thursday market.
NAN observed that shops had been quickly shut down, as the traders scurried to areas considered safer.