Gunmen Kill At Least 140 In Christmas Weekend Attacks On Nigerian Villages

(Public/Screenshot/YouTube/TVC News)

John Oyewale Contributor
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Gunmen killed at least 140 villagers across 17 communities in north-central Nigeria Saturday and Sunday, according to several reports.

The nighttime raids swept through 17 communities located in the Bokkos and Mangu Local Government Areas (LGA) of Plateau State, local outlet TVC News reported. Survivors feared the death toll might be much higher than 140 as some remained unaccounted for, per the Associated Press (AP).

Governor Caleb Mutfwang in a Twitter statement lamented the “gory” and “very terrifying Christmas” the attacks have inflicted on the state. Describing the attacks as “well-coordinated with heavy weapons,” he said the communities were “completely torched and brought down by these bandits and criminals” and called on security agencies to identify the sponsors of the attacks.

“Until we cut off the supply in terms of sponsorship, we may never be able to see the end of this,” he added.

A third LGA, Barkin Ladi, was also affected, he said. Bokkos and Barkin Ladi are Christian-dominated, and many blamed Fulani herders for the attacks, the AP noted.

Gov. Mutfwang convened an emergency State Security Council meeting in the wake of the attacks, TVC News reported. “It is sad that within the last two days, we have lost innocent people… Enough is enough. We cannot continue these senseless, stupid, unprovoked attacks,” he told reporters, per TVC News.

Gov. Mutfwang revealed that he hailed from Mangu LGA, and denounced the attackers as “terrorists,” saying the attacks had nothing to do with farmer-herder clashes or religion in a televised interview with Arise News. (RELATED: Islamic Terrorists Slaughter 15 in Nigeria)

Nigeria‘s security chiefs visited the scenes of the attacks at the behest of President Bola Tinubu, Gov. Mutfwang said in the interview.

Major General Abdullsalam Abubakar, the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, a special military task force, reportedly said his troops killed some of the attackers and recovered phones which might be useful in the task force’s investigation of the attacks. A soldier sustained life-threatening injuries. “We will not rest until we bring all those culpable for these dastardly acts to book,” he told reporters, per TVC News.