25 killed in Taraba communal clashes

The Taraba Police Command has confirmed that 25 persons were killed and several others injured in a bloody clash between Shomo and Jole ethnic groups in Lau Local Government Area of the state.

In a chat with newsmen in Jalingo on Tuesday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP David Misal, said that about 100 houses were burnt down during the clash which took place in the area on Monday.

While the police spokesperson could not immediately ascertain the cause of the conflict, reliable sources from the area said that disagreement over the ownership of some ancestral fish ponds was the cause of the problem between the two fishing communities in the crisis-ridden state.

The police also confirmed that the conflict had since become an annual occurrence between the Shomo and Jole fishing communities.

“The Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmed Azare, has stationed patrol teams on ground already and the situation has been brought under control,” he said.

As a result of frequent clashes between both communities, the government had to ban fishing activities in the disputed ponds for a period of 10 years.

The communities however resumed conflicts as soon as the ban was lifted at the return of democracy in 1999.

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