Five communities in the Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State were a theatre of war at the weekend as an armada of men in military uniforms attacked anything in sight, literally.By the time the smoke cleared, more than 500 persons lay dead ? mostly women and children.Some of the fleeing residents said that the mass murder was carried out by members of the State Task Force (STF) and soldiers from the 3 Armoured Division in retaliation over a recent killing of four soldiers by militia men in the area.

The spokesman of the STF, Capt. Ikedichi Iweaha denied the allegation that security personnel carried out such killings, declaring that it would be unthinkable that soldiers deployed to keep the people safe would turned weapons against the same people and in the manner claimed.However, Iweaha admitted that members of the STF and soldiers from the 3 Armoured Division had been deployed to keep the area safe from militiamen whom he said had been carrying out daring raids around the Taraba-Plateau border.The five Taroh settlements are Saku, Wadata Kasuwa, Wadata Mission, Kurmi and Kadarko all in Wase Local government of Plateau State.

The operation took place Saturday as the armed men, said to have been dressed in military uniforms, attacked defenceless civilians, mostly women and children.?
Mohammed Badu, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication declined comments when contacted, saying it was the duty of the STF to speak on the operation.Also, the Senior Adviser to the state Governor, Jonah Jang, on Media who is also the Media officer of the STF, Pam Ayuba, did not pick his calls.?
The Traditional ruler of Taroh, in Wase, Mr Lot Nden, confirmed the death toll which he believes to be well over 500.
He said the gun men came in?large number wearing army uniforms and attacked major Taroh settlements.

Another eyewitness?who told reporters that he escaped narrowly, added that the gunmen randomly killed women and children and destroyed houses.
He said: ?The Army came in accompanied by 18 armoured tanks with over 5,000 men, dressed in army uniforms. They split into different camps. Some of the soldiers came through Taraba State, killing anything in sight, including men, women and children.


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