The military has denied involvement in the deadly attacks in Plateau State by suspected killer herdsmen.
The attacks occurred in Nkiedonwhro community resulting in over 29 deaths, mostly women and children.
The military denied the allegation of complicity in the killing but said it was overwhelmed by the numerical strength and tactics of the attackers.
The spokesperson of Operation Safe Haven, Capt. Umar Adams said in Jos, the State’s capital, that the military did its best to repel the attackers.
The President of Rigwe Development Association, Mr.Sunday Abdu, had accused soldiers deployed to the area of complicity saying “they soldiers masterminded the killings.”
But Capt. Adams maintained that the attackers were too many for them to curtail.
He said: “During the attacks, there were gunshot exchanges between our troops and the attackers.
“The attackers came en masse and they were shooting sporadically and the people in the village started running towards one of the bases where our men were deployed. That was when our men offered them safety in the classroom.
“But as those attackers were still advancing, our men had to repel them by engaging them in gunshots. But because it was dark and they were many in number, our men didn’t know that there were others who came from another direction.
“While our people were attacking those ones, others came from a different route and fired the people in the classroom. But to our greatest disappointment, people are putting the blame on us.
“When the attackers were firing at our people, our men were also firing back. Our people were able to shoot some of them; but because of their number, they were moving those who were wounded from our gunshots.”
He continued: “About two days earlier, there was tension the day some women in Rigwe community demonstrated because a boy was discovered dead. Out of their anger, they suspected that the Fulani people were responsible and decided to take a revenge on them.
“Our people intercepted them because our mandate is not to promote violence but to ensure that people live in peace. They wondered why soldiers stopped them from unleashing their anger on the suspects.
“When our boys were intercepting the ones trying to cause trouble, some of them moved out to scatter our checkpoints.”