by El-ameen Ibrahim
Two soldiers of the Operation Safe Haven have been shot dead in the hinterlands of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The Plateau State Police Command confirmed the incident, which occurred Monday night.
The command’s public relations officer, Ubah Ogaba, also said one other soldier sustained injuries and is receiving attention at a medical facility.
“Suspected gunmen shot at officers of Operation Safe Haven. In the process, two soldiers were killed, one was injured,” the spokesperson said.
In a related development, residents of Gindin Akwati, where the alleged killing took place, decried the action of soldiers whom they said burnt down many houses in retaliation.
A resident, Usman Adam, said his house was burnt down by the soldiers.
“Early morning, the soldiers called us for a meeting, they told us to bring out miscreants that we know among us.
“But after the meeting, we saw deployment of many soldiers into our community, they began to set fire on our homes, they burnt my own home.
“Later we were told that some soldiers were killed on the road, that was all that I know,” he said.
Similarly, the local leader of Fulani herdsmen in Barkin Ladi, Shuaibu Bayero, narrated a similar experience.
“Early morning we saw soldiers in their vehicles and motorcycles.
“They stormed communities of our people, they burnt our homes.
“From our count, 150 homes were burnt down, in four close-by communities,” he alleged.
But the police spokesman, Mr Ogaba, could not confirm the burning of the houses.
“That was not confirmed to me,” he said.
Telephone calls put across to the information officer of Operation Safe Haven, Ibrahim Shittu, were not responded to.
This is the latest incident of security breach in the state after last month’s attacks on some communities in Mangu and Bokkos area of the state.