A clash between soldiers and some youths in Sopp Village, in the Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, has been said to have resulted in two deaths.
The youths were agitating against the alleged poisoning of a 32-year-old well, during an air raid by members of the military Special Task Force, code-named Operation Safe Haven, Punch reported.
The poisoned well resulted in the death of two individuals in the community, hence the youths’ protest.
During the course of the chaos two other individuals got hit by bullets.
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The bodies of the persons who perished in the well had been taken to a mortuary, while individuals injured during the protest were reported to be receiving treatment in a hospital.
Confirming the incident, the spokesperson for the OPSH, Captain Umar Adams, attested that two persons died, but denied that the well was poisoned.
Adams said, “There is an old well in the community that was constructed in 1985 but was abandoned for many years. Apart from the fact that we carry out security activities to ensure that we avert crisis and promote unity, we sometimes carry out social responsibilities.
“Our troops in Riyom said, ‘This well has been left to waste. Why don’t we revive it so that at least everybody can benefit?’ That was why our troops decided to look for well drillers. Two young men volunteered and said they could do it because that was their job.
“I cannot tell how those boys got inside the well with their working tools. The debris that had accumulated inside the well, I guess, led to their death. They may have choked to death.
“The youths mobilised in hundreds and started a violent protest against our troops, alleging that our soldiers killed their people, to the extent that they started damaging the accommodation of our troops. Even the equipment in their rooms, including television sets and generators, were scattered and damaged.”
The spokesperson stated that the two persons were shot due to their attempt to snatch rifle from soldiers during the protest.
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