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Army’s error leads to killing of 22 people at Plateau school

The Nigerian army has admitted abandoning 22 people killed inside a primary school by suspected Fulani herdsmen at Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Daily Trust reports that Anthony Atolagbe, Commander of Operations Save Haven (OPSH), said the soldiers asked the people to take refuge in the school when the attack started but the soldiers deserted the school to chase after the gunmen.

“We asked the people to go to the school and when the shooting started, some people were shouting, the soldiers said let them go and drive them away; 12 of our men were guarding the school, they went after the attackers to drive them away. But before my men come back, some attackers came and killed them in the school,” Atolagbe said.

Most of the people killed in the school were children and women.

Atolagbe denied the accusations that the soldiers invited the Fulani herdsmen to kill the people in the school.

“We can’t take sides,” he said. “Since I have been in this operation, we have started doing a lot of things. We have stakeholders meeting at OPSH headquarters and at the sectors level in order to promote peace and avoid crisis. There is a compulsory two times stakeholders meeting every week.”

He said the army had deployed motorcycle squads trained outside the country to patrol the areas and prevent future attacks.

Atolagbe confirmed that no arrest had been made, but he said the task force was working round the clock to arrest the perpetrators.

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