Police confirm 96 dead, 221 houses burnt in Plateau Christmas eve attacks

The Plateau state Police Command has confirmed the death of about 96 people in the attack by gunmen on several villages in the state on December 24.

The command said 221 houses were set ablaze across the affected villages.

Many people were also injured in the attacks, which were carried out in Bokkos and Barkin Ladi local government areas of the state. About eight vehicles burnt in the process.

The state commissioner of Police, Okoro Alawari, disclosed this on Tuesday, December 26, in a statement signed by the command’s spokesman, Alfred Alabo.

On Monday, December 25, The ICIR reported how the assailants attacked several communities in the state, killed scores of residents, looted farm produce, and set homes ablaze.

Reacting to the incident, the state commissioner of Police expressed grief over the attacks and directed the deputy commissioner of Police in charge of operations to relocate to Bokkos LGA and also deployed a team of operational forces to the affected areas to prevent further attacks and assess the level of damages in the affected areas.

The statement read, “On December 24, 2023, at 2200hrs, the following 12 villages in Bokkos LGA were attacked: Ndun, Ngyong, Murfet, Makundary, Tamiso, Chiang, Tahore, Gawarba, Dares, Meyenga, Darwat and Butura Kampani.

“Similarly, on December 24, 2023, at about 2245hrs, three villages in Barkin-Ladi LGA namely NTV, Hurum and Darawat were also attacked.”

According to the statement, in Bokkos LGA, the total number of villages attacked is 12, with 221 houses set ablaze, 27 motorcycles and eight motor vehicles burnt down, and over 79 persons were killed.

 The Police disclosed that 17 deaths were recorded in Barkin-Ladi LGA, noting that investigation and monitoring of the incidents were ongoing.



    However, there are indications that casualties in the attacks are higher than the figures provided by the Police. Several reports suggested that over 100 people were killed, and approximately 23 villages were affected.

    Plateau state is one of the states facing ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria.

    Data collated by The ICIR showed that between January and October 2023, 7,046 people were killed in violent attacks across Nigeria.

     The ICIR gathered the data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), a data bureau collecting real-time data on the locations, dates, actors, fatalities, and types of all reported violence and protest events worldwide.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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