In a night raid, six persons were feared killed and five others seriously injured as unknown persons swooped on two villages in Plateau State on Saturday.
While details of the attack remained sketchy at press time, the state government confirmed the incident on Sunday and pledged to fish out the perpetrators.
The government also expressed concern that the gunmen might be taking refuge in nearby villages.
The suspected herdsmen attacked Tegbe Village in the Jebbu Miango area of the state, after a failed swoop on Nzoruvho village, also in the neighbourhood.
The attacks came on the heels of 12-hour curfew imposed on the Bassa Local Government Area of the state.
The government, in a press statement said that it viewed the development “with serious concern,” especially because the “criminal elements perpetrating the spate of vicious attacks within the Irigwe Chiefdom of Bassa, are finding refuge amongst the inhabitants of those areas.”
Issued by the Director, Press & Public Affairs, Samuel Emmanuel Nanle, the statement restated the government’s pledge not to relent in its current renewed efforts at identifying and prosecuting all those behind the heinous crime, “which seeks to take the state back to the dark days of violent conflicts.”
The government pleaded with all residents of the areas of conflicts “to volunteer useful information that will lead to the apprehension of all the criminals behind this sudden resurgence of terror.”
It warned that any person or group of persons in villages and neighbourhoods identified to have been providing refuge and escape for these criminals, would not be spared the wrath of the law.
“The Governor extends his heartfelt condolences to families of the bereaved and has directed the State Emergency Management Agency and Ministry of Health to immediately coordinate medical services for the injured as well as provide all necessary humanitarian relief materials to the areas of these attacks,” the statement added.
It appealed for calm from all law-abiding citizens and gave assurance that security had been reinforced, “while intelligence and security search and patrol have also been intensified to ensure the immediate arrest of the culprits.”