Three members of a vigilance group were killed by suspected herdsmen in a gun battle at Dong-Kassa village in Jos North Local Council of Plateau State.
It was learnt that the assailants on arriving the scene of the incident on Thursday, shot sporadically and indiscriminately, instantly killing three young men.
The deceased had volunteered to ward off the attackers who have been unleashing terror in some communities of Bassa, Bokkos and Jos North councils.
A community leader in the area, Jerry Datim, told journalists yesterday that the shootings began about 7.30pm on Thursday, which lasted several hours.
He said: “In the process of the shootings, three of our boys were killed. The boys are our vigilantes who usually stay on the hills that the attackers sometimes use. And they usually alert us of any imminent danger.
“That night, after killing the boys, they picked the mobile phone of one of the victims and used it to call us to come and carry our dead bodies, which they had killed. That night, we told the security operatives attached to the community to escort us to the scene but they were not ready to go with us.
“The security personnel were armed to the teeth, but they still refused to go with us. But the night of the killing, we were without arms, went to the scene with a view to recovering the deceased.
“When we got to where we could reach, we searched but to no avail. We only recovered their bodies yesterday morning with the help of some volunteers who went and carried their bodies without any of the security personnel.
When contacted, spokesman of the Operations Safe Haven (OPSH), Major Adam Umar, confirmed the sporadic shooting and the killing of the three persons.
He said: “It was a night incident. Our personnel who were carrying out patrols, on getting winds of the attack, quickly mobilised to the place. The troops confirmed the incident and the casualty figure of three young men.”
Also, Governor Simon Lalong, confirmed that there were killings. He has, therefore, appealed for calm, following the attack last night by armed gunmen in Dong village of Jos North, which culminated in the unfortunate loss of lives of three persons in the area.
In a statement yesterday signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati, the governor expressed happiness that relative calm had been restored to the area following the deployment of security personnel and urged the people to remain law-abiding.