Hundreds Flee Plateau Villages Ahead Of Army Raid: Official

A detachment of the special military unit prepares to head to a trouble spot in Jos, Plateau State in 2011. By Susan Njanji (AFP/File) (AFP) – Hundreds of villagers have quit their homes in Plateau state ahead of a planned army raid on suspected militant hideouts, over recent attacks that killed more than 100 people, the army said Monday.

“Hundreds of them have left as of this evening,” spokesman of the Special Task Force (STF), army Captain Salihu Mustapha told AFP.

“As a matter of fact, most of them have complied with the order to vacate these five villages,” he added.

The military operation could commence “any time from then”.

Officials have accused ethnic Muslim Fulani pastoralists of being behind a series of attacks in central Plateau state last weekend.

In the first wave of attacks on Saturday, July 7, gunmen stormed mainly Christian villages and killed more than 80 people.

Another 22 people, including two senior politicians, were killed the following day in an attack on the funeral of the previous day’s victims.

Troops from the JTF had already been deployed to several villages in Plateau state, Mustapha said.

Air Vice Marshal Dick Iruenabere told journalists in Abuja that the raid was to check what he called “acts of terrorism…The whole idea is to save the lives of the innocent.”

Responding to fears that homes vacated by residents would be destroyed in the fighting, Iruenabere said small weapons would be used during the operation.

Ethnic Fulani herdsmen are a majority Muslim group with long-standing land rights grievances against the state’s mainly Christian leaders.

In March 2010 they launched a wave of attacks on Birom Christian villages, slaughtering more than 500 people, according to local officials.

Plateau state is in Nigeria’s so-called “Middle Belt,” where the mainly Christian south meets the majority Muslim north, and has been the site of sectarian violence in recent years.

Fulani pastoralists are seen as “settlers” by the Christian ethnic groups that dominate power in Plateau state, even though the Fulani have been there for decades.

The state capital Jos and its environs have suffered a wave of sectarian and communal clashes in recent years that has left thousands of people dead.

A meeting of Plateau state stakeholders held on Monday in the state capital Jos to discuss the current security challenges facing the state, an official statement said.

  1. Dom onwuka Reply

    what is it that making people kill they fellow woman bean may God expose those that are couring this kill


    May Allah deal with those who are having hand in driving away and executing of this indegine muslim fulani

  3. faithful hope Reply

    You think that you have sense ba, the fulanis have already sent away their terrorrist brothers whom they have been hiding for long before they agreed to relocate. Plateau people open your eyes to all these tricks that are going on. captain, so you have allow these people trick you like this.

    they have used their evil sense to trick you, be careful because they are going to meet again to plan how thet will attack again. you already know that among your men, there are also terrorist giving informations to their so called evil brothers. JUST BE CAREFUL.

  4. suleiman a.k Reply

    but u people did not tel d stf,how many muslims were killer on sallah day, but dis not fair 2 our fellwer muslims

  5. Eunie Ezekiel Reply

    I just pray that God will give u more wisdom to realy knw how to deal with this issue.What shall it profit this wicked people if dey kill christains and ggo to hell .you should know that he who kills by sword must die by sword so if u kill by bomb u will perished by bomb if you kill by gun you must go to hell by gun.

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