Scores injured as women, soldiers clash in Plateau

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Jos – Some women in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State have clashed with men of the Special Task Force (STF) maintaining security in the state injuring six of them in the process. Several of the villagers also sustained injuries in the clash with the soldiers.

However, while the STF is alleging that the women were hostile towards its men, the women have also protested what they called maltreatment and arbitrariness by the soldiers in the course of their duty calling for their withdrawal from their communities.

Vanguard gathered that women at Rim resisted the soldiers who were on a house-to-house search for arms and ammunition allegedly pelting them with stones and other missiles.

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Media Officer of the STF, Captain Salisu Mustapha in a statement on Tuesday, confirmed the clash between the villagers and soldiers but denied any maltreatment of the women as alleged.

According to him, the STF personnel had embarked on a routine search for arms in some villages including Rim following intelligence information but that the women resisted and turned violent, hurling missiles at the soldiers.

He added that the search was conducted successfully in three other neighboring villages but that the women at Rim resisted any search of their houses.

Residents of Riyom and Barkin-Ladi local government areas which had been target of constant attacks by gunmen have repeatedly called for the withdrawal of the soldiers who they accused of complicity or inaction in the attacks on their communities.

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The hostility exhibited towards the soldiers in believed to be in furtherance of the no-love-lost relationship between them. One of the villagers accused the soldiers of always coming to dispossess their local security groups of their weapons leaving them vulnerable to attacks by gun men who the soldiers have allegedly been  unable to track down.

But the STF has repeatedly dismissed the allegation as an attempt to rubbish the good work of restoring peace to the state which they have been striving to achieve.

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