…As Egypt anti-jihadist sweep kills 28 militants***
Three people were,Saturday night, ambushed and killed in Zangwra community, Miango District, Irigwe Chiefdom of Plateau State in what residents say is yet another attack by herdsmen. The three were said to have met their death while returning home on a motorcycle while two others escaped with injuries.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Terna Tyopev, confirmed the incident saying it occurred at about 7.30pm on Saturday and was reported at about 8pm by residents.
A resident named those killed as John Esije, 32, Monday Nzwe, 38, and Mr. Saku Giyeri, 41years and the survivors identified as Sunday Bala, 33 and Gudu Gara, 25. Both have been taken to an undisclosed hospital.
The District Head of Miango, Daniel Chega, regretted that the incident occurred after series of security meetings and agreements with security agencies and the herdsmen’s leaders aimed at ending the killings.
He called on villagers to remain calm and not take laws into their hands and appealed to security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the act.
In the meantime, a major operation against jihadists in Egypt has killed 28 fighters in the Sinai Peninsula since it was launched by the military on Friday, the army said on Monday.
Another 126 jihadists have been arrested since “Operation Sinai 2018” was launched in the Sinai from Israel, the central Nile Delta and the Western Desert near the border with Libya, the army said.
The security sweep comes as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seeking re-election in March, after a first term in office that has seen him crack down on an Islamist insurgency and other opponents.
Egypt’s security forces have been increasingly targeted by jihadists since the army in 2013 — then headed by Sisi — overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Militants linked to the Islamic State group have waged a deadly insurgency in the Sinai against Egyptian security forces.
The Egyptian air force and the navy have been taking part in the operation, with the Sinai sweep focusing on targets in the north and centre of the peninsula.
On Sunday the army said it had killed 16 jihadists in the Sinai, and on Monday spokesman Tamer el-Rifai reported 12 others were killed in clashes with troops.
In total 126 jihadists have been arrested and as many of their hideouts destroyed, the army has said.
The operation has also destroyed several vehicles and warehouses, it added.
In November, Sisi ordered his armed forces chief of staff to restore security in Sinai within three months after militants killed more than 300 worshippers at a mosque.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April last year, after two suicide bombings at churches claimed by IS killed at least 45 people in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria.
Vanguard with additional report from Punch