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Military launches manhunt for soldiers’ killers

The military high command, on Sunday, said marauding terrorists, who recently killed some of its personnel in Niger State “would be hunted down by fire…

The military high command, on Sunday, said marauding terrorists, who recently killed some of its personnel in Niger State “would be hunted down by fire by force”.

Director, Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba, who stated this in an interview with our correspondent in reaction to a publication in Daily Trust’s Sunday edition, specifically said there would be “injurious consequences” for the act.

Daily Trust had reported how bandits ambushed and gunned down six soldiers at Roro, Karaga and Rumace communities, Bassa Ward, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State on Friday night.

A captain was also said to have been abducted during the incident.

This came barely a month after 17 military personnel, who were deployed on a peace-keeping mission to quell community clashes, were killed in Okuama community of Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust, Buba, a Major-General, said, “Sadly, once again, troops are making the ultimate sacrifice to secure the nation and citizens. However, there would be injurious consequences for those that perpetrated the killing of troops. We would hunt them down and hold them accountable for their actions against troops.”

In the same vein, the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Onyema Nwachukwu, described the development as a temporary setback, disclosing that other troops launched offensive attacks against the terrorists after incident and neutralised dozens of them.

“Troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army deployed at Allawa and Erena, while on a fighting patrol to Karaga Village in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State had an encounter in an ambush staged by terrorists on 19 April 2024.

“Troops gallantly fought through the ambush and eliminated several of the terrorists as well as captured some of their equipment,” Nwachukwu, also a Major-General said via a statement issued on Sunday.

The senior military officer, on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja while sympathising with the family of the deceased, explained that the troops, who were killed comprised 2 officers and 4 soldiers.

According to him, “The General Officer Commanding 1 Division and Commander Operation Whirl Punch, Maj Gen Landers Saraso has on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff sympathized with the families of the deceased personnel and promised them that the unfortunate setback will be avenged by the troops.

“He said the troops are currently trailing some of the terrorists who survived and fled after the encounter. He urged the good people of the State to go about their legitimate and lawful activities and reassured them that the Nigerian Army and other security agencies will ensure their protection at all times.

“In line with customs and traditions, the Nigerian Army authority has contacted the Next of Kins of the fallen heroes, while burial has been conducted for the deceased muslim personnel with the consent and approval of their family members.

“The Chief of Army Staff was represented at the burial which took place at Minna Military Cantonment Cemetery by the Commander Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Maj Gen Kelvin Aligbe.

“The Deputy Governor, representative of the COAS, GOC and other senior officers also visited the 2 wounded soldiers receiving medical attention at the Military Hospital and subsequently paid condolence visit to the families of the deceased.

“We urge the general public, particularly the good people of Niger and contiguous states to continue to avail the Nigerian Army and other security agencies with actionable and timely information to enhance the operations of the troops.”

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