Over 35 residents of Yelwan Zangam, a Christian community in the Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, have been slaughtered by gunmen suspected to be Fulani militants.
Around 8 pm on Tuesday, the gun-wielding men invaded the community in combat fashion, firing gunshots north and south. A bridge leading to Anaguta, a neighbouring community, was destroyed to prevent the targeted residents from escaping.
In a video call with FIJ, an eyewitness showed lifeless bodies of children. Women and old men were also seen lying helplessly on the floor.
Residents who escaped the attack said the gunmen raided for hours and went scot-free.
“This is alarming,” a resident told FIJ. “It’s a coordinated attack on the Christians. This community is Christian-dominated. Over 35 people have been killed. We’re still recovering bodies and sending them to the mortuary.”
FIJ gathered that security agents deployed to the community after the attack prevented people from taking pictures of dead bodies “to ensure a media blackout”.
However, FIJ received a gory picture showing the bodies of six family members burnt alive in their house during the attack.
Although FIJ cannot independently verify the identity of the killers, residents alleged that the invaders were Fulani militants.
The attack happened hours after headquarters 3 Division of the Nigerian Army and Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), a military task force maintaining peace in Plateau, said some terror groups were plotting to cause unrest in Jos and its environs.
“This is becoming a religious fight,” a resident said. “Those men are Fulani militants.”
On August 14, at least 22 Muslims were killed around Rukuba, where the attack took place. Police said they received a distress call in the morning that “a group of attackers suspected to be Irigwe youths (predominantly Christian)… attacked a convoy of five buses with Muslim faithfuls”.
“Twenty-two persons were killed and 14 injured,” Ubah Ogaba, Plateau State Police spokesperson, said in a statement, adding that 21 people had been rescued.
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