Abuja, April 15: At least 106 bodies have been buried so far following attacks by unidentified gunmen on several villages in central Nigeria’s Plateau state earlier this week, an official said.
A mass burial was held for the victims in a shallow grave on Monday, following the violence which broke out last Sunday in the state’s Kanam area, Dayabu Garga, Head official of the Kanam local government area, said in an interview with a local broadcaster, Channels Television on Thursday.
Garga added that more than 16 people have been hospitalised or are yet to be recovered from the violence, Xinhua news agency reported.
“I was present on Monday morning where we did mass burial of 106 killed and we are still picking more dead bodies in the farmlands,” he said, describing the attacks as “devastating”.
The casualties figure has so far been the first to officially emerge from the incident which was earlier condemned by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nearly 10 villages were affected by the violent attack, according to Garga. He said the attacks had rendered hundreds of people homeless just as he explained that the number of Internally Displaced Persons had increased.
In a statement on Wednesday, Yusuf Gagdi, a member of the national parliament representing Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke federal constituency, said at least 3,413 persons were displaced after the terrorists destroyed 41 houses, 86 shops, and eight motorcycles during the attacks.
Plateau Governor Simon Lalong on Monday directed security forces to “dominate the area” after their initial response which put a stop to the attacks. He also charged them to go after the fleeing gunmen and ensure that “they pay for their crimes”.
According to the Governor, besides approaching the federal government for collaboration to deal with the gunmen, the state government has adopted far-reaching measures to strengthen all security measures and enhance the capacity of security agencies to respond to all situations in any part of the state.
A series of attacks by armed groups have plagued parts of Nigeria in recent months, resulting in civilian deaths and the kidnapping of people.