Troops neutralise armed bandits, avert violent ethnic clash along Benue-Taraba Border

Posted by News Express | 22 April 2019 | 1,101 times

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•Ag. Director of Defence Information, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu

 Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE deployed to conduct anti banditry operations in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states neutralised two armed bandits in an encounter with the bandits on Friday, April 19, 2019, the military announced on Sunday.

A statement signed by Acting Director of Defence Information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, said: “The troops, who were on a fighting patrol along Nagi-Ucheki - Audu - Enger - Adudu axis in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State, responded to an attack by a group of bandits, killing one, while others fled the scene. The troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, 2 rifle magazines, 48 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition, 1 machete, 1 mobile phone and a bag of charms abandoned by the criminals.”

The statement disclosed that, in another development, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE deployed in Zaki Biam in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State have averted a violent ethnic clash between Tivs and Jukuns at Jootar, a border community between Ukum and Wukari Local Government Areas of Taraba State.

According to Col. Nwachukwu, “The vigilant troops, while on a fighting patrol responded to a distress call alerting them of an imminent violent clash between Tivs and Jukuns at the border community. The intervening troops met with stiff resistance by armed militias who engaged the troops in a fire fight. The troops, however, promptly neutralised one of the militias firing with an automatic weapon, while others fled the scene.

“The troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, 2 magazines and 26 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition from the neutralised bandit, a locally fabricated gun and a dagger from the fleeing militias. The border town of Jootar and the adjoining communities remain calm as troops are currently dominating the general area.”

The Acting Defence Spokesman said that in another encounter, also on Friday, troops on a fighting patrol to Ikyoawe, Tsegumme and Tsezongo communities in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State destroyed an armed militia camp after dislodging the criminals, following a gun duel at Tsezungo.

His words: “The armed bandits, who were overpowered by the troops escaped with gunshot wounds abandoning munitions and other logistics. After the encounter, the troops recovered 2 rifle magazines, 60 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition and 2 mobile handsets. The troops are still on the trail of the bandits.

“Members of the public are therefore enjoined to watch out for persons with gunshot wounds seeking medical attention and promptly report them to security agencies close to their location. The good people of Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and the contiguous states are also enjoined to join hands with the security agencies to bring an end to the illicit and atrocious activities of criminal elements and groups in the region.

“We equally appeal to the general public to support the security agencies with information that would be useful in detecting individuals and groups who are covertly engaging or supporting violent and criminal activities in their towns and communities.”

Source: News Express

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