A soldier has refuted the claim that the military killed over 70 innocent persons in Benue State.
At a press conference on Friday, the people of Mbator in Shangev-Tiev of Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State, said while more than 70 innocent persons were killed, 100 got missing during aerial and ground bombardments by troops.
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The villagers appealed to the Federal Government to order the military to halt the killings, saying they are planning to storm more villages.
Daily Trust had reported how the military invaded the communities after 11 soldiers were killed in an ambush.
Contacted to comment on the villagers’ allegation, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), referred our correspondent to the Media unit of the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
But a soldier, who pleaded anonymity, dismissed the claim of the villagers, challenging them to substantiate the claim.
He told our correspondent that the soldiers killed belonged to the 72 battalion, Special Forces of the Nigerian Army.
The soldier said apart from 12 militia “neutralised on Wednesday”, no one else has been killed”.
He said rifles of the deceased soldiers were recovered from the suspects who were shot dead.
“Those claiming that 70 persons were killed by the soldiers should prove it with the dead bodies or show us the graves where they were buried. Where are the dead bodies.”
Governor Samuel Ortom has asked the villagers who seized the weapons of the military to return them.