Four killed, arms recovered as military forces engage bandits in Benue
Charles Nwoke, Makurdi, Nigeria
March 25, 2021
Nigerian Military Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke on Wednesday engaged suspected gunmen in a fierce gun duel at Abaji in Shitile area of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State resulting in the death of four persons with many persons wounded.
The military forces were said to have recovered one AK-47 rifle and several ammo magazines during the battle with the hoodlums.
According to sources, some gunmen in military attires had stormed the market around 5 pm on motorcycles and started shooting sporadically leading to the death of two people and many others injured during the pogrom.
The Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area Council, Alfred Atera, who confirmed the attack stated that the unknown gunmen who are believed to be loyal to Terwase Akwaza aka Gana, the late state warlord, rode into the market on motorcycles between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm on Wednesday.
“The gunmen camouflaged in military uniform and I think why they did that is because there is a curfew in this area and only security men are allowed to ride on motorcycles.
“So they camouflaged in army uniform and rode on motorcycles into Abaji market between 4:00 and 5:00 pm and started shooting sporadically.
“But troops of Operation Whirl Stroke who were on patrol of the area were quickly alerted and they responded to a distress call and repelled the gunmen,” he narrated.
A military authority who did not want his name mentioned in the news confirmed the unfortunate incident equally. He said that troops were immediately mobilized to the Market to repel the hooligans leading to a shootout between the troops and the bandits.
He said, “The troops overpowered the bandits with superior firepower, following which two of the bandits were eliminated by the troops while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
“One of the troops was injured during the encounter.”
The Local Government Boss commended the efforts of the security forces for their prompt response to rebut the gunmen.
The Police Public Relations Officer Benue State Command, DSP Catherine Anene, when contacted, said she was yet to receive a formal report on the matter.
She said, “Sorry, I’m waiting for the report of the incident. I will get back to you once I get the report.”
This is happening just 72 hours after Fulani herdsmen attacked the Executive Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.