Not more than 25 Fulani travellers were on Saturday buried after they were intercepted and killed by suspected Irigwe militia in Jos, Plateau State, authorities and witnesses said.
The incident happened about 10.30am around Gada-Biyu – Rukuba road area in Jos, the state capital when the Fulani victims were moving in a convoy of five buses, the innocent travellers were intercepted while passing through Rukuba Road in Jos to avoid the congestion around the city centre.
The assailants reportedly dragged the victims out of their vehicles which were trapped in gridlock and then killed many of them using machetes, daggers, knives, stones and other dangerous weapons.
It was gathered that victims were Fulani mostly born and brought up in Ondo and Ekiti states who were returning home after attending the annual Zikr (prayer session) organized by Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi to mark the commencement of Muharram, the new Islamic New Year.
Meanwhile, Plateau State Police Command in a statement confirmed that 22 lives were lost in the attack and identified the culprits as “suspected Irigwe youths and their sympathisers.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ubah Gabriel, said in a statement: “22 Islamic faithful were intercepted and killed.
“They were travelling in a convoy of five buses and returning from the Annual Zikr prayer in Bauchi State and heading to Ikare in Ondo State. Unfortunately, 22 persons were killed and 14 injured in the attack.
“Upon receipt of the report, a team of police personnnel, the military and other sister agencies were immediately mobilised to the scene where 21 victims were rescued and six suspects arrested,” he said.
The Saturday’s attack came barely two weeks after two people were killed when youths blocked the same Gada-Biyu highway.