Attacks kill at least 113 people in central Nigeria
BOKKOS, Nigeria (AFP)— More than a hundred people have been killed in central Nigeria in a series of attacks on villages, local government officials said Monday.
The toll marked a sharp rise from the initial figure reported by the army Sunday evening of just 16 dead in a region plagued for several years by religious and ethnic tensions.
“As many as 113 persons have been confirmed killed as Saturday hostilities persisted to early hours of Monday,” Monday Kassah, head of the local government in Bokkos, Plateau State, told AFP.
Military gangs, locally called “bandits”, launched “well-coordinated” attacks in “not fewer than 20 different communities”, Kassah said.
“We found more than 300 wounded people” who were transferred to hospitals in Bokkos, Jos and Barkin Ladi, he said.
The attacks which started in the Bokkos area spilled into neighbouring Barkin Ladi where 30 people were found dead, according to local chairman Danjuma Dakil.
On Sunday, state governor Caleb Mutfwang condemned the attack, calling it “barbaric, brutal and unjustified”.
“Proactive measures will be taken by the government to curb ongoing attacks against innocent civilians,” said Gyang Bere, the governor’s spokesperson.
Gunfire could still be heard late afternoon Sunday, according to a source from the region.
Amnesty International criticised the government in the wake of the attacks, saying “the Nigerian authorities have been failing to end frequent deadly attacks on rural communities of Plateau state,” in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Northwest and central Nigeria have been long terrorised by bandit militias operating from bases deep in forests and raiding villages to loot and kidnap residents for ransom.