Many killed in Taraba communal clash

By Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

Many people are feared killed in Takum and Kurmi Local Government Areas of Taraba State as a result of an ethnic clash.

The spokesperson for the Taraba State Police commands, DSP Usman Abdullahi, who confirmed the clash in Takum and Kurmi, said he could not confirm casualties in Takum town but assured that normalcy is being restored while a curfew is enforced.

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Independent sources told our correspondent that trouble started on Saturday when security agents stopped the procession of the Kutep cultural group in Takum town for their annual cultural day celebration.

The planners of the cultural day, it was learnt, ignored the orders of the security agents and went ahead with their procession leading to a confrontation between them and security agents.

The confrontation later turned into an ethnic clash between Kutep and Jukuns, leading to the killing of many people and the burning of several residential buildings in the town.

A resident of Takum, Mr Bala John, told reporters that three Kuteps were gunned down by the security agents during the confrontation.

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He further stated that gunshots were heard in the night on Friday at different locations in the town and many corpses are laying in the bush outside Takum.

In Bissaula town of Kurmi local government area, it was also learnt that many people were killed when a militia group, said to be operating from the Cameroon border and allegedly working for a party in the Ndaka/Ichen ethnic crisis, attacked Ichen tribe in Bissaula town of Kurmi local government area which has claimed several lives in past three months.

However, further findings revealed that the situation is gradually returning to normal in both Bissaula and Takum towns.

DSP Usman also revealed that reinforcement was dispatched to Bissaula town to restore peace and order while a manhunt for killers of three mobile policemen is also intensified.

According to him, the policemen, who were on a peace mission in the area, were overpowered by a militia group and killed and their rifles were stolen.

He said the state police commissioner had directed that killers of the three mobile policemen in Bissaula must be found and made to face the law.