Crisis in Central Nigeria: Escalating Violence Leaves 160 Dead in Coordinated Assault

The armed groups, which the locals call "bandits", attacked "at least 20 villages" between Saturday night and Monday

by Sededin Dedovic
Crisis in Central Nigeria: Escalating Violence Leaves 160 Dead in Coordinated Assault
© Scott Nelson / Getty Images

In a devastating series of attacks, at least 160 people lost their lives in attacks by armed groups that lasted from Saturday night to Monday in different villages of Plateau State in central Nigeria. Local authorities confirmed the grim damage and expressed concern about the escalation of violence in the region.

The hostilities, which began on Saturday, continued into Monday morning, according to officials from Bokos, a local government with a history of religious and ethnic tensions. The attacks, attributed to armed groups colloquially known as "bandits", targeted at least 20 villages in a well-coordinated attack.

The official, identified as Kasa, reported 113 deaths in Bokos alone, significantly higher than the earlier figure of 16 reported by the Nigerian military. In addition, over 300 people were injured and transported to hospitals in Bokosh, Jos and Barkin Ladi.

50 killed in neighboring Barkin Lada

Dixon Cholom, a member of the local assembly, revealed that "at least 50 people have been killed" in four villages in neighboring Barkin Ladi local government. Despite the staggering losses, local leaders remain determined to seek peace and justice, rejecting the tactics used by these "merchants of death".

Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang condemned the attacks as "barbaric, brutal and unjustified", promising proactive measures to curb further attacks on innocent citizens. "The government will take proactive measures to curb attacks on innocent citizens," said the governor's spokesman.

Gunshots continued to reverberate through the region late Sunday afternoon, heightening fear and anxiety among an already traumatized population. Amnesty International has weighed in on the violence, arguing that Nigerian authorities have consistently failed in their attempts to stop these frequent attacks in Plateau State.

Nigeria's northwest and central regions are grappling with the constant threat of jihadist groups and criminal organizations, creating an atmosphere of fear as communities face the grim reality of looted villages, killings and kidnappings.