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Defence Absolves Self From Weekend Genocide In Plateua Village

By Abdul Gafar Bello – The Defence Headquarters has described as false and gross misrepresentation of the facts, some media reports that the Military who were on a revenge mission were responsible for the weekend massive killing of civilians in a Plateau village.
In a post on its official blog Monday, Military posited that the reports were totally “false and gross misrepresentation of what happened”, declaring the “truth of the matter is that between 2 and 3 May, 2015, a combined team of soldiers of the Special Task Force (STF) carried out a raid operation to dislodge suspected militia groups habouring in villages in the borders of Plateau and Taraba States”.

“During the operation which was carried out simultaneously in Kadarko, Kunmi and Wadatan villages all in Wase LGA of Plateau State, the militia group engaged the troops in a shootout. In the ensuing fire exchange, 32 of the suspected militants lost their lives while soldiers sustained various degrees of injuries. 10 other militants were arrested with various calibers of weapons and are currently in the custody of the military” the post explained.

Defence said it was public knowledge that prior to the operation, the axis had become very dangerous owing to the atrocities and sundry security breaches obviously perpetrated by the audacious militia group.

Military also indicated that the group was growing in strength and ambition, as well as expanding in scope and sphere of criminal activities, hence the urgent need for it to be checked.

“That they were also audacious enough to engage the troops means that they were already a formidable criminal gang that must be stopped” Defence buttressed.

The clarification, MIltary stated was necessary in the face of “mindless fabrications by those with ulterior motives” who attempted to capitalize on the unfortunate incident to syndicate their well rehearsed smear campaign against it, adding that the operation was never a ‘genocide mission’ nor targeted at ‘innocent civilians’ “as some of the press report suggested”.

It stressed that it was a well-intended operation aimed at apprehending the ring leaders and foot soldiers of an incubating terrorist group, culminating in fierce exhanges when the audacious and dangerous group opened fire on troops.

“It must be stated very clearly that never again shall the Nigerian military allow any militant groups to rise again to constitute themselves into grave danger to innocent citizens of the country” the post declared.

No fewer than 100 civilians were reportedly killed in the attack which was initially blamed on Fulani Herdsmen.

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