Commander of the Special Task Force (STF), Major General Henry Ayoola, stated that as the operation Safe Haven was being carried out in Plateau State, over one hundred (100) rebels -- who not so long ago attacked several villages in Langtang south local government area of the state -- were shot and killed by JTF officers.
Explaining the current situation in Jos, the Army General noted that, contrary to the insinuations, the events evolved the way they did not due to ethnic crisis, but because gunmen attacked the residents of three communities.
Immediately after receiving the worrysome alert of the attack, the STF troops were deployed to the villages with orders to tackle the situation -- but were assaulted by the rebels, Henry Ayoola narrated. The soldiers retaliated with the return fire, and more than 100 insurgents were killed during the gun battle.
According to General Ayoola, more troops have been stationed in the affected areas to make the patrol possible and to prevent any attack.
28 villagers of Magama, Bongon and Karkashi villages of Langtang south local government area of Plateau state, north central Nigeria, are so far reported killed in the pre-dawn attack, launched by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The attack by the Fulani gunmen was allegedly carried out after their cattle was stolen. Two villages in a nearby Fulani and Hausa community were subsequently burnt and residents fled in thousands.
"One fact people are not aware of is that the casualties are more on the side of the attackers. We have killed more than 100 of them as they tried to escape. No single resident of the community has been killed by anyone since then, and we will not allow any residents to be killed any longer because we are on ground," Ayoola assured.
The General further prompted residents of the affected communities to return home, and urged the locals to cooperate with his men by providing relevant information and reporting instantly of any suspicious movements by any individual or group to security agencies.
Ayoola specifically admonished not to spread false rumours which will only aggravate the situation.
In conclusion, he condemned what he described as "over-sensationalisation of the reports of the crisis" by saying, "This is not a case of ethnic crisis between Fulani and Tarok; it was a case where some gunmen came to attack residents of three communities in Langtang South LGA."