In a horrific turn of events, Kwahaslalek village in the Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State became the scene of a brutal massacre in the early hours of Wednesday. Gunmen attacked the village, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 30 lives, many of whom were women and children.
Details of the Attack
The incident occurred following unrest in Mangu town earlier on Tuesday. Fearing for their safety, many villagers, predominantly women and children, sought refuge in the house of a community leader. Tragically, it was here that the gunmen surrounded and executed them.
Community Leader’s Confirmation
Mark Haruna, a community leader in the area, confirmed the devastating death toll in a statement to PUNCH Online from Jos, the state capital. Haruna described the previous day’s unrest in Sabon Gari and Mangu town as a distraction, shifting attention away from the villages. He recounted the late-night assault on his village, Kwahaslalek, where over 25 people were mercilessly killed.
Mwaghavul Development Association’s Response
Joseph Gwankat, Chairman of the Mwaghavul Development Association, also confirmed the killings, condemning them as callous. He narrated how the unrest in Mangu town led to fears in nearby communities, prompting villagers to gather their loved ones in what they believed to be a safe location. It was in this supposed haven that the massacre occurred.
State Police Command’s Statement
Alabo Alfred, the spokesman for the state police command, when contacted, stated that he had yet to receive a report of the incident but promised that the police would investigate if such an event had occurred.
In response to the deteriorating security situation in the area, Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang declared a 24-hour curfew on Mangu LGA on Tuesday. This decision followed an earlier unrest that resulted in several houses, including churches and mosques, being burnt down.
Context of Ongoing Violence
Plateau State has not yet recovered from the Christmas Eve attacks that ravaged communities in three local government areas, including Barkin Ladi, Mangu, and Bokkos. These attacks saw gunmen storming multiple villages, burning houses, and shooting residents, with over 150 people reportedly killed.
The massacre in Kwahaslalek village is a stark reminder of the ongoing security challenges in Plateau State. The loss of over 30 lives in a single attack, especially those of women and children, has sent shockwaves through the community and the nation, highlighting the urgent need for effective measures to prevent such tragedies in the future.