The ongoing ethnic violence in Nasarawa State has started taking its stock on innocent citizens, as overzealous soldiers killed eight people mistaking them for members of the Ombatse militia group in the state.
Some top security operatives informed Saturday Tribune that the incident, which happened on Tuesday evening at Shinge area in Lafia Local Government Area of the state, had created panic among residents in the area.Investigations revealed that the victims, who were between ages 19 and 23, were in front of their residence when soldiers stormed the area and opened fire on them.
It was further gathered that the victims, who were nine in number, were all traders at the popular Shinge market. They were said to be receiving fresh air in front of their residence after close of work around 6:30 p.m when the soldiers invaded the area and killed eight of them.
The last person was said to be on danger list at an undisclosed hospital.Witnesses said the soldiers took them for members of Ombatse militia group who were planning to launch an attack on Kamperis as well as Fulanis and Hausas residing in the area.
“The boys were drinking garri outside the house after they came back from work, suddenly we heard gun shots with people shouting for help, but nobody could move near the scene.We later learnt that the soldiers acted on a tip-off after being informed that the Ombatse group in Eggon was planning to attack the area.
“When they came, rather than ask questions, they opened fire on the traders. Eight died on the spot while one was rushed to the hospital, but no one can say what his current condition is now,” a witness said.
When contacted on Friday in Lafia, the state capital, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ugochukwu Theodore, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the information had not reached his office.