Some Nigerian soldiers have been reported to have invaded Kadarko, Kurmi and Wadata villages in Wase local government area of Plateau state and killed more than 30 innocent people.
According to reports, the soldiers were responding to the killing of four of their colleagues by unknown people in one of the villages.
The house of the traditional ruler of the Kadarko, Ponhzi Kadarko, Chief Lot Nde, was also said to have been torched.
Punch reports that the soldiers, who arrived in the villages in over 40 trucks, were on a revenge mission over the alleged killing of their colleagues at Angwan Nanmi in Karin Lamido local government area of Taraba state.
Th executive director of Stefanos Foundation, Mark Lipdo, said that the soldiers arrived and opened fire on innocent people and burnt houses.
“It is not clear why soldiers would open fire on the people they are supposed to defend," Lipdo said.
He added: “Sources speculate that it is in retaliation for the killings of their colleagues. Others denied this, moreso that two of the four soldiers killed were even Tarohs from the area. Villagers would rather believe it is a deliberate plan by the outgoing governor to intimidate their area, following the overwhelming votes from the area that changed the results of last election.”
Reacting to the allegation, a spokesman for the Special Task Force, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, said there was no truth in the claim that its members attacked anybody.
He said that the operation was meant to check gunmen who had been terrorising residents and security personnel in the area.
According to him, following frequent attacks on communities around the Plateau-Taraba border by some militiamen, the STF and soldiers from the 3 Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army had been carrying out operations targeted at flushing out the militias.
Iwela added that Nigerian soldiers who are working to protect innocent civilians could not turn around to kill the same people.