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Jos: Soldiers get shoot-at-sight order

Soldiers patrolling Jos, Plateau State capital, received shoot-at-sight orders yesterday after a group of youths killed an ad-hoc staff of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and set his body on fire on Monday.

Army spokesman, Capt. Charles Ekeocha, who confirmed the new orders yesterday, said “the best option is to make sure you stop the person, even if it means taking the person’s life.” He added that the new orders in Jos allowed soldiers to kill anyone trying to hurt another person or destroy a home, church or mosque in the city and surrounding areas.

Three lives were lost in Jos on Monday when a skirmish around Tina junction turned violent. Two of those killed were reportedly shot by soldiers while the third was allegedly killed by a mob.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abdulrahman Akano, said the violence arose from a resistance put up by a group of youth in the area who accused soldiers of escorting some youths from another part of the city into their area to cause trouble.

He said the seven people escorted by the soldiers were ad-hoc INEC staff for the on-going registration who were there to collect materials
The youths were said to have moved to seize them and an attempt by members of the Special Task Force, STF, to protect them was said to have been resisted as they allegedly hauled stones at soldiers. The ensuing commotion led to the shooting of two of them.

The mob succeeded in catching one of the seven escorted by the soldiers and descended on him in anger, killing him also. Akano said the police was investigating the incident.

However, a resident of the area said the youths became suspicious of the group because that was not the first time soldiers were leading people to the area to attack them

The city has become divided along ethno-religious lines, such that it was no longer safe for anyone belonging to a particular religion or ethnic group to go into an area dominated by the other group.

Member representing Jos South/Jos East in the House of Representatives, Mr. Bitrus Kaze who resides in the area told journalists on Monday that the people alleged that the soldiers led the youth from another part to the area to register in the ongoing voters’ registration exercise a move resisted by the residents.

Calm later returned to the city after the initial tension generated by the incident

-Vanguard

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=2543

Posted by on Jan 18 2011. Filed under Plateau, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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