Armed persons in the early hours of Thursday attacked Kukek community in Bajin Kogi Forun District of Barkinladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The attackers, suspected to be cattle rustlers, attacked the home of a man identified as Tsok Gwom between 1 and 2:00 a.m. killing nine members of the family, a resident of the community said.
Among the victims were Mr. Gwom, three women, and five children who were all said to have bullet wounds on their bodies. One of the women was identified as Mr. Gwom’s wife. The victims’ corpses were yet to be taken to the hospital as at 1:30 p.m.
Residents of the community said the gunshots alerted the vigilante members of the community who launched a reprisal attack on the over 30 attackers killing 12 of them.
A resident of the community, who did not want his name mentioned for security reasons, said many of the vigilante members also sustained various degrees of injuries.
He said the attackers may have been cattle rustlers as Mr. Gwom’s cattle numbered over 50. However, the animals remained intact.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Plateau, Felicia Anslem, confirmed the attack to PREMIUM TIMES.
Ms. Anslem, in a telephone interview, however, said the police could not ascertain the casualty figure. She said more police officers have been deployed to the community.
Hundreds of people have been killed in different Plateau communities including Barkinladi in ethno-religious violence in the last three years despite various efforts by the state and federal government t maintain peace in the state.