SPECIAL TASK FORCE KILLED MORE THAN 100 BANDITS IN LANGTANG VILLAGES’ GUN DUEL – COMMANDER ; FOREIGN FIGHTERS HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THE VIOLENCE

A Panhard VBL M11 of the Special Task Force - OP SAFE HAVEN(Jos Plateau) at the Terminus area of Jos

A Panhard VBL M11 of the Special Task Force – OP SAFE HAVEN(Jos Plateau) at the Terminus area of Jos

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
July 03, 2013
Jos

The Special Task Force (STF) maintaining the peace in Plateau killed “more than 100’’ of the bandits that attacked Lantang villages last week, according to its Commander, Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola.

“The latest figure of the attackers that
fell to our fireworks in the counter gun
duel is more than 100. We really
devastated them because we circled
them up from various angles. They have
never been so hit. “STF troops deployed to Magama had first engaged them before they were later supported by additional troops that came from Shendam,’’ Ayoola told reporters in Jos on Wednesday. Other villages hit by the attackers included Bolgong and Karkashi.

Ayoola said that two of the attackers
were injured and had been arrested and
handed over to the State Security
Services. He said that many of the corpses had disappeared because the assailants were always quick to evacuate their dead ones. “We found that most of the attackers were not even Nigerians; also, many of them wore talismans and all manners of things over their bodies,’’ he added. Ayoola wondered what had happened to
some Nigerians’ sense of patriotism if
they could bring fighters from outside the nation to kill their fellow compatriots.

The Commander, however, disputed
reports attributed to a politician, which
claimed that 70 villagers had been killed
by the invaders. “The official is not in a position to confirm the number of casualties. You remember the council chairman had said that 32 people were confirmed killed.You also remember that we confirmed that only 20 villagers were killed. “After the weekend, there has not been any any new attack so where is the additional number of casualties coming from?’’ he asked.

Ayoola expressed satisfaction that calm
had returned to the area, and declared
that all other alarms were false as the
STF men were on ground to tackle any
situation.

On the contrasting figure of casualties
between the Plateau Police Command
and the STF, Ayoola expressed surprise
that the police was releasing casualty
figures in a crisis that was not a police
issue. “The Langtang violence was not a police issue. The Plateau police command was not involved in the counter operation.

“The STF, you should remember, was specially established to tackle the Plateau violence because it was beyond the scope of the conventional security agencies in the state. “It (STF) is not a statutory body. It is a circumstantial creation to take care of a particular situation, so it is the only body involved in the operations and should be the only source for confirming the real situation on ground,’’ he said. Ayoola, however cautioned against the persistent rustling of cows, and vowed to deal with anyone caught in that act.

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