Published On: Mon, May 21st, 2018

Military Kill 35 Armed Herdsmen, Militia in Benue

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By Sadiq Umar – The Nigerian military say it has neutralized 35 armed herdsmen in lower Benue, thereby aborting what would have been another deadly attack on two villages in the state.

The incident occurred when troops engaged militia during clearance operation across Gwer West, Logo and Guma LGA’s of Benue State during the weekend.

“Troops made contact with heavily armed herdsmen around lower Benue and a militia camp at chetarer village,” Acting Director Defence Information, John Agim said in a statement distributed by PR Nigeria on Monday.

Mr. Agim, a Brigadier General stated, “the troops engaged the militia and followed the pursuit with M135 Helicopter of their air component. This led to a large member of them being neutralized. In all 35 herdsmen were neutralized and a large number of them escape with gunshot injuries.”

The statement said one personnel was killed in action (KIA) while 2 sustained slight injuries but have been treated and discharged. “Also, a personnel is still missing in action,” it further said.

According to the acting Director, Defence Information, “troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) operating in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara states conducted a four-prong clearance operation during the weekend.

“At Umaisha and Toto Villages troops ambushed the militia following a tip off of a planned attack on the two villages. On the ensuing melee 1 x G3 rifle, 193 x 17.62 mm NATO, 81xG3 rifle ammunition, a locally made pistol and 1 FN magazine filled with round were recovered and 1 militia was killed.

“In another development, one Abdullahi Adamu, suspected herdsman at Rukubi in Doma LGA of Nasarawa state was arrested in possession of an ID card of the vigilante group of Nigeria, Nasarawa state command and a photograph in which he posed with an AK47 rifle. The suspect is still under interrogation and will be handed over to the police for prosecution after preliminary investigation.

“Also, OPWS in Nasarawa State arrested one Musa Habu aged 32 years at Kolo close to Umiasha Toto Local Government Council. Items recovered from the suspect include locally made pistol, 2 x cartridges, 1 Techno phone and hundred and thirty naira only.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is linked with some suspected militia in the locality. The suspect has been handed over to the DSS for further necessary action.

“In the same vein, OPWS sector 3 Taraba troops on patrol through Kwesati, Manya- Garagun axis made contact with 8 bandits who were arrested armed with 2 AK47 rifle, 1x K2 rifle and 2x locally made gun. Ammunitions recovered from them include 56 rounds of 7.6mm, 25 rounds of k2, 3x cartridge, charms, phones amongst other items.

“Suspects and items to be handed over to DSS for further investigation,” the statement added.


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