At least three Fulani settlements in Lau Local Government area of Taraba state were on Friday evening attacked by suspected Bachama militia, killing dozens of Fulani and burning houses, locals and security sources have confirmed.
Consequently, the attacks have forced residents of Katibu, Donada, Mayo-Lope and Abbare border areas of Taraba and Adamawa to flee to the neighbouring towns..
A fleeing resident of Katibu, Bello Manu, said the Bachama militia who were on reprisal attack had killed seven people including a local leader.
“The Bachamas who were assisted by other local tribe of Yandang came in their dozens and without any provocation launched an attack against us.
“They killed at least seven people instantly, including my uncle who is also a village head (Dagaci), Jauro Buba. Some others were burnt to ashes,” he said.
When contacted, the state chairman of Miyetti Allah in Taraba, Sahabi Tukur, confirmed the incident, saying that the militia had also attacked Bujum, Didango, Donada, and two other Fulani settlements, killing over 13 and injuring many.
According to him, the group was reportedly assisted by Yandamawa.
He said: “Over 400 cows were rustled by these marauding militias. We want the government to take this matter seriously and investigate.
“Why should Bachama leave their state, Adamawa and attack us? We are living peacefully here.
“Already, some corpses and injured people were taken to Jalingo, the state capital for treatment and burials,” he disclosed.
The Police Spokesman in the state, David Misal, has also confirmed the attack and assured that the culprits would be brought to book.
“The attackers that crossed-over from the neighbouring Adamawa were said to have came in numbers killing and burning houses.
“Though no arrest was made, however security agencies are already deployed to track them. And for now, four people were killed six and others injured.
“As I am talking to you now, the state police deputy commissioner is on his way to Abbare to ascertain the situation,” Mr Misal pointed out.
Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, the Bachama leaders have however denied the crossed-border attacks, saying that “this is big lie, they (Fulani) first attacked us before turning back to Taraba.
Euphraimu Turaki, the Bachama youth leader said: “Some communities in Taraba were not also spared by the marauding Fulanis. They also burnt villages and killed people, not Bachama at all!”
He continued: “Last Friday, over 300 herdsmen launched an attack on our community in Bwam during which five people were killed. So, why are they now crying wolf!
“Let government be serious if not more lives will be lost,” he warn.