JULY 27, 2012
Special Task Force in Jos has said it has yet to conclude operations to flush out suspected terrorists from the hills of Jos, from where Fulani herdsmen a forthnight ago, attacked nine villages in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Area, killing more than 100 people.
Among the victims were two lawmakers, Senator Gyang Dantong, representing Plateau North and Gyang Fulani, representing Barkin Ladi state constituency. The duo met their deaths on July 8 while leading a funeral procession for the victims of the July 7 massacre.
The task force had, on July 14, given residents of five villages mostly affected by the massacre 48 hours to vacate their houses to enable them to flush out the terrorists from the hills of Mahanga, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh, and Shong 2. But six days later, the task force asked residents of Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh and Shong 2 to return to their homes following intense pressure from Muslim communities who started their annual fasting.
STF claimed that it had concluded the operation in the four settlements. The Muslims had complained that they would not undertake the fasting period in the makeshift camps provided by the STF.
STF Media Officer, Capt. Salisu Mustapha, told our correspondents in an interview in Jos on Thursday, that the operations had yet to be concluded in Mahanga, said to be the den of the terrorists. He said media reports that operations had been concluded in all the settlements were false as the exercise was still ongoing in Mahanga.
He said, “We have not finished the operations. It is still on in Mahanga. We only allowed residents of the other settlements to return to their homes because we have finished the exercise in those areas.” Mustapha, who refused to give details of arrests or weapons found, said reports on the operations were still being compiled and would be forwarded to Defence Headquarters for necessary action.
The STF spokesman said, “The operation was ordered by the defence headquarters and at the end, we will compile the reports and send to the headquarters for appropriate action. It is not for me to tell you details of the operation because it was ordered by the authorities who should know what had happened first. “I advise that you wait for the outcome of the operations and the reports to come from the appropriate quarters. You will get the details soon. Just wait.”