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Insecurity: Military repels attack on Benue Community



The Troops of Sector 6, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), have successfully repelled an attack by bandits on Okokolo community in Agatu Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue.

The OPWS Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Sunday Igbinomwanhia, told newsmen in Makurdi on Saturday that the troops forced the bandits to run in disarray after a three hour battle on Thursday.

He however said two soldiers and one personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps lost their lives in the encounter while two other soldiers sustained injuries.

The OPWS force commander said those injured were rushed to Air Force Hospital in Makurdi, and are responding to treatment.

He said that the troops rushed to the community when they received intelligence that bandits were heading to the area.

”Upon inquiry, the troops discovered that suspected bandits are advancing towards the town to attack it and they immediately mobilised and proceeded to Okokolo community, about 15 km from their base at Akwu.

“On arrival, the troops encountered the bandits carrying out attack on the community and subsequently engaged the criminals in a gun duel that lasted for three hours.

“The attack was successfully repelled with the terrorists withdrawing in disarray while evacuating their dead and wounded.

“The success achieved was however at a huge cost, with three of the troops paying the supreme sacrifice to prevent the killing of the inhabitants of Okokolo and the intended sacking of the community.

“In addition to the death of the two soldiers and one Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps personnel, two other soldiers were wounded and immediately evacuated to the Air Force Hospital in Makurdi,” he added.

The force commander commended the troops and urged them to put the set back of the loss of their colleagues behind, and remain focused on the mission of ridding the state of all criminal elements.

He assured the troops that the Chief of Defence Staff was strongly behind them as they battle to restore lasting peace in Benue.

Igbinomwanhia appreciated Gov. Hyacinth Alia for his support to OPWS, and pledged that the troops would pursue the criminals to their hideouts.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state Deputy Gov., Mr Sam Ode, and the OPWS commander, had visited the troops of Sector 6 on Friday at their base in Akwu.

The visit was to commiserate with them over the death of their gallant colleagues and encourage them not to give breathing space to the criminals.

Ode who represented the governor, said that the state government would support the treatment of those injured.


Terrorist attack: 3 teens arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting terror attack



German authorities have arrested three teenagers aged 15 and 16 on suspicion of plotting a deadly Islamist terrorist attack in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, prosecutors said on Friday.

The state’s Central Office for the Prosecution of Terrorism (ZenTer NRW) sought an arrest warrant for the teenagers over the Easter holiday.

They were suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in accordance with the aims and ideology of (extremist militia organisation) Islamic State.

The detained suspects are a 15-year-old girl from Dusseldorf, a 16-year-old girl from the Märkischer Kreis district and a 15-year-old boy from the Soest district, located about 100 kilometres to the east of Dusseldorf.

A fourth suspect has reportedly been identified in the south-western German state of Baden-Württemberg, and the local court there has issued an arrest warrant.

According to the investigators, the teenagers are accused of having agreed to commit murder and manslaughter.

This is in conjunction with the preparation of a serious act of violence endangering the state.

The presumption of innocence applied in all stages of the proceedings.

Security sources told newsmen that the young people had formed a chat group, but had not drawn up a concrete attack plan for a particular time and place.

However, sources said the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne were discussed as targets, and attacks with knives and Molotov cocktails on people in churches or police officers in police stations had been considered.

The sources said authorities had also conducted searches as part of the investigation.

A machete and a dagger were seized in Dusseldorf, but no evidence of the construction of incendiary devices was discovered.

Sources said the father of the Dusseldorf suspect had already attracted attention from authorities in the past because he had allegedly collected donations for the Islamic State.

The investigators declined to reveal how the suspected terrorists were tracked down, but said that foreign intelligence agencies “did not play a role.”

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Task force nabs woman 317 live ammunition in Benue



The tactical team of the ‘Operation Zenda Joint Task Force’ in Benue State has apprehended a 37-year-old woman suspected for being in possession of 317 live ammunition.

The task force commander, Felix Nomiyugh confirmed the arrest on Tuesday in Makurdi.

According to him, the arrest took place at Ayati Junction in Ukum Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State, where the suspect was found in possession of a substantial cache of live ammunition.

Commander Nomiyugh disclosed that the woman is believed to have ties with a notorious bandit kingpin operating within the locality.

Further investigation led to the recovery of 200 rounds of live ammunition for general-purpose machine gun (GPMG) and 117 rounds of 7.6mm ammunition from the suspect. The apprehension underscores the commitment of Operation Zenda in tackling criminal elements and enhancing security across Benue State.

The successful operation demonstrates the effectiveness of joint task forces in combating illegal arms trafficking and curbing the activities of armed groups in the region. Authorities continue to intensify efforts to dismantle criminal networks and maintain law and order for the safety and well-being of residents in Benue State.

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Eld-el-Fitr: Violence erupts as NSCDC officials shoot woman at prayer ground in Zamfara



Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State, was engulfed in violence yesterday leading to sorrow and anger, following reports of a fatal shooting incident by members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at an Eid prayer ground.

The Wednesday incident, which resulted in the death of a lady, ignited widespread outrage and violent protests in the neighborhood.

According to witnesses, NSCDC officials, in pursuit of alleged criminals, fired randomly, accidentally hitting the victim while she was caught up in the chaotic situation. The tragic incident triggered spontaneous demonstrations, with locals expressing their dismay by setting ablaze an NSCDC truck in a communal outburst.

Confirming the incident, ASP Yazid Abubakar, the police spokesperson, disclosed that two NSCDC employees were arrested by the Nigerian Police in Zamfara State. He assured that a comprehensive investigation is underway to ascertain the facts surrounding the incident, highlighting the delicate relationship between law enforcement and civilians in such volatile situations.

However, the Zamfara State NSCDC Spokesperson, Ikor Oche, refuted claims that the victim was shot by Civil Defence personnel. He asserted that NSCDC officials were stationed at their post when they heard the gunfire. They rushed to the scene only to find the injured woman. Oche emphasized that the NSCDC personnel did not shoot or kill anyone, and an inquiry has been initiated by the NSCDC state headquarters to determine the cause of the incident.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Police personnel intervened to restore calm in the area, dispersing the group vandalizing the Civil Defence vehicle, which had already been set ablaze.

As the investigation progresses, residents of Gusau are demanding justice and measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future, underscoring the urgent need for accountability and restraint in law enforcement operations.

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