|An injured resident|
The spokesman for the Taraba State Police Command, ASP David Misal, who confirmed the incident said the crisis started on Thursday over a land dispute between Fulani and Mambilla in Yerimaru village and later snowballed into neighbouring villages.
Misal said that units of mobile policemen and soldiers from the 20 battalion in Serti have been dispatched to the area to maintain law and order, adding that several homes were burnt down and many cows killed and stolen during the attack.
A fleeing resident Saadu Mogoggo whose house was attacked at Leme suburb of Gembu, said two of his younger brothers were killed their cattle were rustled by the militia.
“As I am talking to you, we are yet to bury their corpses. The ethnic militia attacked our resident in Leme where they killed our father last month. During this attack the Mambillas carted away over hundred cows.
“My two younger brothers reported the matter to a nearby military base and a soldier was attached to them to retrieve the stolen cows. Unfortunately, in the process my younger brothers were killed while the soldier fled with injury,” he said.
Another resident, Abdu Gagarau, said, “The burning and killing of the Fulanis continued till early this morning. They have been attacking our settlements since Thursday and over 20 people have been killed.
Also confirming the development a community leader in the area, Ahmadu Nguroje, said 20 people have been killed in the attacks.
“At least 20 people are killed; looting of houses, shops and arson continued by the Mambilla militias along Tapare and Yerimaru axis in Sardauna LGA of Taraba State. About 12 other people were wounded and are on admission at a hospital in Gembu,” said he.
Reacting to the attacks, the state governor Darius Ishaku ,who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Emmanuel Bello, warns that "anyone who takes any life irrespective of religion or tribe is a criminal whether it is on the summits of Mambilla or the plains of southern Taraba and anywhere in this state. And we shall deal with them as criminals!”
He noted that the governor “was committed to an amicable resolution of the crisis in the state and peaceful co-existence of all ethnic nationalities,’’ attributing that renewed crisis erupted due to what he called ‘’ disagreement between two ethnic groups.’’
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