Three soldiers have been wounded and six villagers killed by armed invaders in a fresh attack on Ikobi community in Apa LGA of Benue State.
Sources earlier told our correspondent in Makurdi that a soldier was killed and two of his colleagues were seriously injured after an encounter with gunmen who invaded the rural community at the weekend.
But the military confirmed that three soldiers were wounded in the encounter with bandits.
One of the locals said that soldiers of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) stationed at Agagbe responded to a distress call and that during the process they encountered the bandits at Tse-Abwa in Gwer West LGA.
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The lawmaker representing Apa State Constituency, Abu Umoru, confirmed the killings to our correspondent through telephone.
Umoru said, “It’s a confirmed story; people suspected to be herders invaded the Ikobi community and so far six lives have been lost within the past four days. They could be more. We had to put a call to OPWS, and the commander has mobilised soldiers to the community.
“People have fled their homes, so we can’t even know the exact number of casualties for now.”
Meanwhile, the police spokesperson in the state, SP Catherine Anene, said she did not have the information.
But, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) spokesperson, Flight Lieutenant Katty Audu, in a statement, confirmed the attack on Ikobi community and said three soldiers were wounded in the encounter with the armed herders.
He said, “Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke received information about an attack on Ikobi community on the 4th of February, 2023, at about 5pm and responded immediately. The gallant troops moved to the area and cleared the community. The rampaging armed herders fled towards Nasarawa State on sighting the troops.
“The situation, though dicey, has been stabilised. The operation continued the next day, 5th February, 2023, in adjoining communities. While the troops were moving towards Agagbe, they had contact with some bandits.
“The bandits fired at the troops and our troops engaged them with superior firepower that lasted for about 30 minutes. Three of our troops sustained various degrees of injury. The injured troops are currently receiving treatment.”
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