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Soldiers kill five youths in Taraba 

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Five youths, including a final year Higher National Diploma (HND) student of the College of Agriculture, Jalingo, Taraba State, have been shot dead by soldiers, who allegedly opened fire on them.

The incident, which occurred around 1am yesterday in Baka village of Ardo-Kola Council, led to tension across the state.  The victims, who were said to have been returning to their various residences from a wedding ceremony in Baka, were said to have been mistaken for members of a kidnap gang by the soldiers patrolling the area, with several others on the same journey reportedly sustaining injuries. 

There were bullets wounds on the bodies of the victims when they were brought to the Federal Medical Centre, Mogul, where they were deposited.

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The medical facility was besieged by angry youths from the community, parents and relations of the victims, with tears streaming down their eyes.

Some parents of the victims, who spoke to The Guardian, could not fathom why soldiers should storm the community without any notification. 

Bello Aliyu Jen, who gave the name of his two sons killed in the incident as Abdulkadir Bello, 27, and Tukur Bello, 20, said Abdulkadir was a final year student of the College of Agriculture. 

Lamenting that the community was not aware of the presence of soldiers in the area, urged government to always endeavour to alert the people of the presence of soldiers in any community to avoid future occurrences. 

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He called on government at all levels to come to the aid of the entire families of the victims. Other victims include Zaiyau Misa Basa, 20, and Philip Yakubu, 22.

Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hamman Adama, who claimed that two of his first cousins were among the five youths killed, said the soldiers “mistook the youths as kidnappers.”

He charged parents to be mindful about the way and manners their children and wards walk around at night, saying the soldiers were out to carry out the presidential directives to fish out hoodlums from the nooks and crannies of the country. 

A distraught Adama urged the affected families to take solace in the Almighty Allah, promising that government and the Nigeria Army “are going to collaborate to resolve the issue.”

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In this article:
Bello Aliyu Jen
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