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15 persons reportedly missing as armed men attack passenger bus in Taraba



Survivors of Tuesday attack on Plateau communities recount experience as death toll rises to 85

Armed men suspected to be vigilante personnel on Tuesday attacked an 18-seater bus conveying passengers from Zaki/Biam in Benue State to Maihura in Bali LGA of Taraba State, an operation which left no fewer than 15 persons, including women and children, missing.

The attack was said to have occured at Gankwe village along the Donga- Mararaban-Baissa road in the Donga Local Government Area of Taraba state.

The driver of the bus, Mpuuga Mbaave, who narrowly escaped from the attack, narrated her experience to newsmen.

Mbaave escaped with machete cut wounds.

He said: “I loaded 18 passengers from Zaki/Biam in Benue State to Maihura in Taraba state, and on our way close to Mararaba, I saw many people in Vigilante uniform. I suspected something was wrong, so I parked the vehicle.

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“One of the villagers who was passing by told me that I should proceed. According to him, two members of the Vigilante personnel were killed by kidnappers, and the vigilante came to carry their corpses.

“As I moved closer, some of the Vigilante personnel started shouting, ‘kill all of them,’ kill all of them,’ it’s their people (Tiv) that killed our members, and they started attacking the passengers and cutting them with machetes.

“They ordered the passengers out of the bus, forced them to lie facedown. I refused to come down, but when I discovered that it was getting out of hand, I decided to jump out of the bus and ran away. My conductor too followed me. They came after us cutting us with a machete, but we ran for our dear lives.”

The Chairman of Doonga Local Government Council, Hon. Ezra Voka, who confirmed the incident said he was already in the nearby forest searching for the missing persons.

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