Troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE deployed to conduct anti-banditry operations in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states have neutralized two armed bandits in a recent encounter with the men of the under-world.
Defence Headquarters spokesperson, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu said the incident happened on Friday.
He said the troops were on a fighting patrol along Nagi-Ucheki- Audu- Enger- Adudu axis in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State, when they responded to an attack by a group of bandits, killing one, while others fled the scene.
He said the troops also 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 after the encounter.
Nwachukwu also said 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.
“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 neutralized 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 neutralized 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,”
In another encounter, the Defence spokesperson said troops on a fighting patrol to Ikyoawe, Tsegumme and Tsezongo communities in kwande Local Government Area of Benue State have destroyed an armed militia camp after dislodging the criminals, following a gun duel at Tsezungo on Friday 19 April 2019.
“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,” he said.
He urged the the public “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 contigous 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.”