Army Bombards Militia Camp In Benue, Arrests Killer Of Ortom Security Aide
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
The Nigerian Army in ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’, OPWS, on Tuesday, stated that their troops in conjunction with 72 Battalion and 93 Battalion in Takum engaged armed herdsmen militia with over 3000 cows in a shoot-out in Benue and Nasarawa states, killing several cows, wounded many of the herdsmen, while others fled the areas using the cows as shield.
The Commander of the Operation, Major General Adeyemi Yekini who stated this while briefing journalists in Makurdi, said troops of OPWS under his command, carried out what he described as “clearance operation across Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba.
He said two major clearance operations code named operations DARK DOWN and DEADLY STRIKE supported by Mi35 Helicopter from NAF and other surveillance aircraft were used.
Yekini disclosed that the operation soldiers ambushed the 40 armed herdsmen with over 3000 herds of cattle at Kwatan Gyemu armed with sophisticated weapons.
“During the operation, the troops recovered weapons and ammunition from the herdsmen and also handed some of the suspects to the relevant security agencies”, he stated.
Major General Yekini further disclosed that the wanted notorious gang leader known as Gana who is responsible for the killings of several persons in Benue state escaped when the army operation at the weekend bombarded the militia’s camp in Ayaka in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area.
He also said two members of the gang were arrested and one confessed to being responsible for the killing of Senior Special Assistant to the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on special security, late Denen Igbana.
According to the Operations Commander, the Army during the Sallah holiday deployed troops to Benue and Nasarawa states in two operations known as Dark Down and Deadly Strick.
He said “Operation Dark Down took place on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at about 0600am in the morning with the focus of clearing Benue of deadly armed militia men that have been terrorising the Lower Benue axis.
The Army, in a statement said rhe militia gang members, were arrested following a tip off while Items including one locally made gun, one pistol, seven rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and nine rounds of 9mm ammunition were recovered from them.
He said the operation in conjunction with 72 and 93 battalion soldiers attacked the camps of the notorious militia leader Gana.”Prior to the attack, NAF Mi35 gunship helicopter carried out aerial bombardment of the camp which led to the successful dislodgement of Gana and his men”.
He said two members of the gang were arrested while the one who confessed to the killing was arrested at the Taraba border by the 93 battalion.
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