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Plateau attacks: Police arrest herdsman with military rifle as death toll rises

As peace gradually returns to Daffo rural communities in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State, the state’s Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a herdsman with a military AK 47 rifle.

Terna Tyopev, the command’s spokesman, who confirmed the arrest to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Jos, gave the rifle’s number as HC2614.

He said the herdsman, Muhammadu Musa Bimini, was arrested by mobile policemen on March 8 at Daffo.

Tyopev said the suspect had been transferred from Bokkos to the state Criminal Investigation Department in Jos and was already being interrogated.

The police spokesman said 16 people had been confirmed killed in the multiple attacks on several villages that took place between March 7 and 9.

The initial number of those who died was 10.

Tyopev said the command had deployed more personnel to restore peace to the troubled areas and advised the people to remain calm and avoid taking laws into their hands.

Meanwhile, leaders of the affected communities have said 25 people were killed in the attacks.

The community leaders, who briefed newsmen on Sunday in Jos, said many others were still missing.

Represented by Rev. Mamot Adams and Macham Makut, the community said the bodies of those killed were recovered and given two mass burials – one on Friday and another on Saturday.

The community leaders blamed the attacks on “our Fulani neighbours” and listed villages attacked to include Nghakudung, Shilim, Morok, Mandung, Faram, Filla and Hotom.

Also attacked were Dai, Kungul, Hurum, Dahua, Malul, Warrem, Josho and Ganda.

They said more than 5,000 people had been displaced, adding that some of them were in camps run by churches.

They called on security agencies to intervene in halting the attacks so as to restore permanent peace to the communities.

“We want government to take urgent steps to end the attacks because our youths are already agitated,” they said.

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