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Death toll in Hoss community killings rises to four

Death toll from attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Hoss Community of Riyom Local Council of Plateau State has risen to four.

The attack on the community occurred on Tuesday where two people were reported killed and several others injured but fresh information on Friday, reveals that two of the injured had died.

One of the new victims was identified as Tina Pam, a resident of the community who succumbed to her injuries on Thursday.

The attack had, on Wednesday, triggered a massive protest led by women and youths from the community who blocked the Jos-Abuja highway, thereby disrupting vehicular movement on the ever busy road.

The protesters demanded the removal of military personnel of known as Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), from all the checkpoints in the state, for unprofessional conduct.

A leader of the protesters who spoke to journalists in tears, said:

“The troops of OPSH have and ulterior interest and biased mind in the attacks. Our people were killed close to their checkpoint but they did nothing to stop the Fulani killers. They are very biased; they don’t like the natives.

“They have departed from the good deeds of Col. Abdulsalam, who is not from Plateau; he is from the Fulani stock, but he is very good. He does not take sides.”

The Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Alfred Alabo, confirmed the attack, saying the police were still investigating the circumstances that led to the killing of the youths.

“If after the investigation into the matter and we have something to say, we will call you.

“The road that was initially blocked by the protesting women has been re-opened, and there is free flow of traffic. That matter is settled.”

Media Information Officer (MIO) of OPSH, Capt. Oya James, denied the alleged complicity by the troops.

“The Special Task Force, OPSH, has monitored a press briefing by the Leadership of the Plateau State Youth Council, where it was alleged that OPSH did little to save lives and wrongfully arrested and detained innocent persons, while also accusing the command of complicity. These allegations are not only misleading but untrue.

“While OPSH is not known for joining issues with any individual or group, whose major occupation is to undermine the legitimacy and integrity of the command spanning over a decade, this deliberate attempt to discredit the successes recorded by OPSH on the Plateau in areas of kinetic and non-kinetic operations would not be tolerated.

“The OPSH, over the years, has made quantifiable sacrifices, including losing lives of its troops to achieve peace on the Plateau and environs. It is, therefore, unfortunate for a known and respected group like the Plateau Youth Council to accuse OPSH of complacency.”

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