By Emeka Mamah
People suspected to be herdsmen, yesterday, attacked Coromo and two other villages in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State, killing about 12 persons and wounding about 18 others seriously. Local sources said those killed included seven men, two women and children, while 13 houses were burnt.
Information about the attack was sketchy, last night, but it was said that the herdsmen launched the attack following a long standing land dispute over farm lands. The herdsmen reportedly stormed the town in the night and started attacking Tivs who had come back to farm on their lands. It was said that hundreds of the natives fled to neighbouring villages while others ran to the Gassol B Police Divisional headquarters for their safety.
Efforts to speak with Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Joseph Kwaji, were fruitless as he did not pick calls to his mobile telephone, but sources at the police headquarters confirmed the incident, saying that armed policemen had been dispatched to the affected communities to maintain peace. The Taraba incident came on the heels of the massacre by suspected herdsmen in an Enugu suburb which triggered outrage.
Before then, there had been reported attacks by suspected herdsmen across the country.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Sunday Vanguard, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, said herdsmen had lived with the people across the country for decades, hinting that those behind recent killings could have been foreigners.
Specifically, Arase said the killers could have been armed men displaced from their countries by the Libya and Mali crises.