Gunmen kill 17 people in Nigeria's north-central state

Gunmen kill 17 people in Nigeria's north-central state

Gunmen storm Heipang in Barkin Ladi Local Government, north-central Plateau State, at around 1am and open fire on residents, say officials

By Olanrewaju Kola

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AA) – At least 17 people were killed in an attack carried out by unknown gunmen on a community in north-central Nigeria, officials said on Thursday.

Gunmen stormed Heipang in Barkin Ladi Local Government, north-central Plateau State, at around 1 a.m. (0000GMT) on Thursday and opened fire on residents, said Solomon Mwantiri, a local leader of the Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN).

"On Thursday afternoon, a total of 21 people, all of whom were victims of the attack, were buried." "We just got back from the mass burial," he told Anadolu over the phone.

However, Ola James, a spokesperson for Operation Safe Haven, a multi-security taskforce in the state, said 17 people were killed in the attack and troops have been deployed to maintain law and order.

“There was an early warning signal that some bandits could launch attacks in the area, which prompted the operation to mount checkpoints in the area, but the bandits followed another route, and attacked the community. 17 were confirmed killed. The commander of OPSH was in the attacked community.

"We suspect it was a retaliatory attack following the incident that happened on Monday," the spokesperson said, referring to the killing of a person in the Heipang area on his way back from a cattle market in Bukuru.

Meanwhile, Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang condemned the attack and announced the establishment of a center where public will provide information related to their areas security concerns.

"The center's aim will be to facilitate public access to convey security-related information to the relevant authorities for prompt action," the governor’s media assistant Gyang Bere said in a statement.

Nigeria's northern states have continued to be plagued by gunmen attacks, banditry, and kidnapping.


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