Nigerian soldiers carried out a raid on Sunday in some communities in central Plateau state suspected of housing militiamen killing several people in the process.
“Following frequent attacks on communities around the Plateau-Taraba border by some militiamen, we carried out an operation to flush out members of these murderous gangs,” Captain Ikedichi Iweha of the special task force told pressmn.
According to him, soldiers engaged the gunmen in a fierce battle, leaving several people dead.
“I don’t have any information on the exact death toll. But several people were killed during the gun duel,” he said.
Iweha also denied reports that civilians were killed after media reports said that at least 30 people died when soldiers stormed into Kadarko, Kurmi and Wadata areas on Friday and Saturday in 40 trucks, burning houses and shooting indiscriminately.
“We did not kill any civilian as our mandate was to flush out the bandits,” he said.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the soldiers hit the communities to avenge the death of four of their men who were killed by some militiamen near the border with neighbouring Taraba state.
Plateau state has suffered a wave of sectarian and communal violence in recent years which has claimed hundreds of lives.