About 20 Nigerian Christians were killed in an overnight attack by Fulani herdsmen in Ancha, Bassa LGA, Plateau State on Thursday 7 September.
Survivors from the community confirmed the killing of seven men, five women and six children, with 10 other people being treated in hospital for gunshot and machete wounds.
The State Police Commissioner, Peter Ogunyanwo, speaking to the press, on Friday in Jos, said, “We are investigating the matter, but from our findings so far, the attack was carried out by Fulani herdsmen to avenge the killing of a young boy.” He explained that the police were told “that a Fulani boy resident in the village was reported missing on 3 August. We are told that his body was later found without the head,” he said. In retaliation, the Islamic herdsmen attacked the village in the early hours of Friday and killed 19 persons and injured five others.
“Of the 19 persons that died, 13 are adults comprising seven males and six females, while six are children. The five persons injured have been taken to the hospital and are responding to treatment,” he said.
The Police commissioner said though five suspects were arrested over the missing Fulani boy, in an ongoing investigation, this did not however dissuade the attack by the Fulani Islamists.
Major General Anthony Atolagbe, commander of Operation Safe Haven, the military command responsible for the protection of communities in Plateau, warned the youths in the village, not to take the law into their hands saying security operatives have commenced an investigation of the attack.