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Ombaste commander, dozens killed in ambush on soldiers

* Police sends helicopter after militia Ombatse militia, Sunday, launched an ambush on the truck loads of soldiers sent to contain the lingering invasion of…

* Police sends helicopter after militia

Ombatse militia, Sunday, launched an ambush on the truck loads of soldiers sent to contain the lingering invasion of Alago towns and villages by the group, but a smart military operation funnelled them into a trap that left dozens including one of their field commanders killed in Assakio, Daily Trust learnt.
Not less than four Alago towns and villages in Lafia and Obi, two neighbouring local government areas in Nasarawa State, have been hit by bloody invasions in which not less than 40 persons have been reportedly killed between Friday and Sunday.
Ombatse, an Eggon group named in several killings, including the May 7 murder of security operatives in Alakyo, also on the outskirts of Lafia, was said to have targeted Alago people and their property for the invasions, which also saw the Obi residence of the PDP National Vice Chairman for North-Central, Alhaji Yusuf Ayitogo, razed down on Saturday.
The suspected Ombatse militia first attacked and sacked Adabu Alago, then moved into Obi town, after which they hit Assakio, and environs.
In Assakio, they were repelled by the troop of soldiers sent in from the 177 Brigade of Guards Battalion in Keffi, with reinforcement from a military unit in Abuja, and Shendam in neighbouring Plateau State.
Sources said the militiamen who ambushed the security crew, armed with sophisticated weapons as well as explosives, stormed in on the patrol team of the soldiers, from different directions, and attempted to launch on assault on them. But the soldiers detected this, and led them into a funnel until they were trapped in a particular tight location where a military backup opened fire, killing dozens.
A field commander of the Ombatse militia was also said to be killed in the military operation, sources said.
Police sources also said some Ombatse members intercepted with arms and detained at the Obi police station, the development which sparked the four-day invasion, were freed during the Saturday invasion in the town, by the militia group.
But no policemen were hurt in the attack, the sources said, explaining that the police played safe to avert serious crisis.
State police Commissioner, Umar Shehu told Daily Trust “I have nothing to say on this matter. Meet the soldiers, they are to speak on it.” But he did not deny the military operation on the Eggon ethnic militia, as well as the killing of a field commander in Assakio.

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