A gun battle between bandits and troops of the Nigerian Army has resulted in the death of not less than four persons in Benue State.
This follows the gun shoot out between bandits and soldiers after the bandits on Wednesday invaded a market located at Abaji in Shitile axis of Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue state but were repelled by the troops.
Apart from those killed, many were also left wounded while an AK-47 rifle, as well as ammunition, were recovered by the troops.
Naija News understands the bandits, riding on motorcycles, stormed the market, wearing military camouflage around 4pm and started shooting indiscriminately which resulted in the death of two people with many others injured.
The bandits were said to have arrived in military camouflage because there is a curfew in the area and only security men are allowed to ride motorcycles.
The criminals however met stiff resistance from troops of Operation Whirl Stroke who quickly mobilized to the scene and confronted the bandits.
Punch reports that the incident was confirmed by the Chairman of the affected local government, Alfred Atera, who noted that the gunmen are suspected to be loyal to the state warlord, Terwase Akwaza aka Gana.
In his words, “The gunmen camouflaged in military uniform and I think why they do 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.
A military source who also confirmed the incident, narrated how troops overpowered the bandits during gun shoot-out.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force has reacted to the meeting between the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Naija News had reported that governor Ortom presented a petition to the Police boss following Saturday’s attack on him by gunmen.
Speaking with The PUNCH on Wednesday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, confirmed that governor Ortom met with the police boss in his office at the police headquarters.
Mba said Ortom came to the meeting with a formal petition on the assassination attempt on his life, which he submitted to the IGP.
The Police spokesman, however, noted that IGP Adamu has treated the petition expeditiously and has directed the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Intelligence Bureau, Tijjani Baba, to continue investigation into the matter.