Tragic, Bloody Easter In Taraba As Gunmen Kill 15, Torch 52 Houses

While Nigerians celebrated Easter Sunday, it was a bloody day in Taraba State yesterday as no fewer than 15 persons were killed in an attack on Gidin-Doruwa village, Wukari Local Government Area. Twenty residents were injured. Residents of the village said over 52 houses were burnt down in the attack, which came barely 24 hours after Acting Governor Garba Umar visited Wukari to plead for peace.Eye-witnesses said the gunmen opened fire on the town in the wee hours of Sunday when Christians were still celebrating the Night of Light to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the residents, in the ensuing confusion began to run for dear life, their assailants torched their homes. Churches were also not spared in the attack. A source said when the CRCN Church caught fire, the youth in the neighborhood started attacking some mosques in retaliation. Fleeing residents said the attackers came from “all corners” and cordoned the town before they started shooting without provocation. They reportedly sustained the gun fire till yesterday evening. It was also learnt that the arrival of riot policemen and soldiers did not deter the assailants, who came in large numbers, carrying sophisticated weapons. One resident said: “The situation here is so bad that some of the security personnel may have decided to retreat”. The State Police Public Relations Officer, Joseph Kwaji, said the arrival of riot policemen from the state command could not end the shootings, and the command got reinforcement from Mopol 34 Squadron, Gombe and 14 Squadron, Adamawa State. Kwaji, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) said he was still expecting reports from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) on the casualty figures. “I am trying to get detailed information from the DPO. We are aware that a village in Wukari has been attacked, but I can’t precisely tell the media the number of casualties, the injured and houses burnt now. “Today’s (yesterday’s) attack and killings were carried out by unknown gunmen”, he added. Acting Governor Umar has condemned the killings as “unfortunate, barbaric and unacceptable”. Speaking through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Aaron Atimas, Umar promised that “government would do everything possible to protect lives and property of the citizenry. “The perpetrators of the crisis must be brought to book. Government cannot fold her arms and watch her citizens die in the hands of heartless people”, Umar said and appealed to the people to be calm. Commissioner for Information, Atte Sale Kundu expressed sadness that despite the acting governor’s appeal to the people to embrace peace, there was still an outbreak of violence. “We don’t know where the problem is coming from”, he said.
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Write by: Dj Donk - Monday, April 21, 2014

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