Taraba State Police Command has confirmed that a lot of persons were killed on Sunday as suspected armed members of a militia group attacked the Jukun community in Takum town of the state.
According to the police spokesman in the state, DSP David Misal, who confirmed the development, the group unleashed an attack on the community that claimed the lives of many person.
Moreover, an eyewitness, Yakubu John, who informed journalists that no fewer than 12 persons were killed in the attack, said that the militia invaded the community with high-profile weapons.
Members of the militia group were said to have found their way into Jukun community from Benue state
However, Misal revealed that the attackers were subdued and made to flee by a joint team of soldiers and policemen, adding that the town is now under the control of security agents.
Residents said the attackers were from Benue State, suggesting it was part of the raging Tiv-Junkun violence.
Locals revealed that the attackers entered Takum on Sunday morning and opened fire on residents, leaving dozens dead.
The death toll was still being determined by the police and emergency officials as of Sunday night, but a member of the local vigilante group said that 14 residents were killed.
About 20 militiamen were also reportedly gunned down after Takum residents pursued them into the bush to ward off the attack, the local vigilante member said under anonymity because they had been warned by the police not to speak to the media.
“The attack occurred in the morning and security agents were deployed there,” Misal said.
“They have been combing the area to flush out any attackers who may be hiding nearby.”
The police spokesperson said casualty and wounded figures would be determined after all threats in the area had been neutralised.
The attackers were said to have slipped into Takum through the mountains of Angwan Abakwa and Wukari Road.
Locals suspected the deadly raid was a reprisal for the killing of a Catholic priest, Rev. David Tanko, in Kufai Ahmadu, near Takum, last week.
Tanko was reportedly on his way to a peace meeting in Takum before he was killed and his vehicle set alight in the August 29 attack.
The peace talk was scheduled as part of an ongoing dialogue to resolve the raging violence between Tiv and Junkun ethnic groups in Taraba State.
Two days before Rev Tanko was killed, several people were reportedly killed in the crisis, which has continued to escalate despite efforts by security agencies to curb it.