Sun Sentinel Broward Edition

Nige­rian troops kill civil­ians, res­i­dents say

- Tri­bune News­pa­pers and news ser­vices

JOS, Nige­ria — Nige­rian troops have killed dozens of civil­ians and razed scores of homes to avenge the deaths of six sol­diers, com­mu­nity lead­ers and res­i­dents of cen­tral Plateau state al­leged Sun­day.

A spokesman for the Spe­cial Task Force said its troops are in­volved in an on­go­ing battle with a tribal mili­tia that res­i­dents said killed six sol­diers and mu­ti­lated their bod­ies last week. The sol­diers’ eyes were gouged out, their tongues slit and they were be­headed, ac­cord­ing to res­i­dents who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Spokesman Capt. Ik­wedichi Iweha de­nied the force at­tacked any civil­ians, ask­ing why they would attack the peo­ple they are sup­posed to pro­tect.

Tra­di­tional ruler Chief Jessie Miri told re­porters that up to 80 peo­ple have been killed in week­end at­tacks by sol­diers in his Wase dis­trict. Res­i­dents said the sol­diers ar­rived in more than a dozen ar­mored per­son­nel car­ri­ers.

Com­mu­nity leader Com­rade Jan­gle Lo­hbut called a news con­fer­ence in Plateau state cap­i­tal, Jos, to say he had doc­u­mented at least 38 deaths, in­clud­ing those of two po­lice of­fi­cers, mem­bers of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity and Civil De­fense Corps and a mem­ber of a vig­i­lante group.

“Sol­diers stormed some vil­lages in Wase … Vil­lages be­long­ing to Tarok and other tribes were razed and many lives, men, women and chil­dren, were lost.” He said hun­dreds of peo­ple are home­less.

Youth leader Shafi’i Sambo said the at­tacks on mainly Tarok vil­lagers fol­low the killings of the six sol­diers by Tarok youths Thurs­day.

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