Military raids criminals hideouts, killed 12, recovers arms in Benue

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By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The Nigerian Military on Tuesday raided and destroyed hideouts of criminals who attacked troops around Bonta village and adjourning communities in Konshisha Local Government area of Benue State

The troops were said to have also neutralized 12 armed bandits who were part of the gang that carried out the attack on the soldiers.

Bonta Community of Konshisha Local government area had been at daggers drawn with Ukpute-Ainu community of Oju Local government area over land crisis, a development which made government to draft military troops to patrol the area to maintain peace.

It would be recalled however, that on Monday evening, troops deployed to maintain peace between the two warring communities were on patrol around Bonta Village when they were reportedly ambushed by the ‘Bonta Youths.

Nigerian NewDirect reports that by  the time the dust settled, it was gathered that the Bonta  Youths allegedly seized some of the soldiers on the grounds that they (soldiers) destroyed their illegal roadblocks.

Sources from the area who spoke to Nigerian NewDirect via telephone conversion on condition of anonymity   disclosed that the military who stormed the village with helicopters and with the support of land troops had destroyed all houses and hideouts  suspected to be housing armed bandits in the area during which several arms were said to have been recovered.

At the time of filing this report, residents of Bonta Village and environs have all deserted their villages and are currently taking refuge at Tse-Agbaragba, headquarters of Konshisha Local Government area.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP  Anene Catherine said she was not aware of any such raid by the military in Konshisha Local Government area.

Efforts to speak with Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini failed as all his lines were switched off at the time of this report.

In a similar vein, the Benue State Police Command confirmed death of two Police officers, one expatriate with two other expatriates kidnapped during attack by unknown gunmen on Symmetry Trading Company Limited in Ukum local government area of the State.

In a Press Statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer Benue State Command, DSP Anene Sewuese Catherine for the Commissioner of Police, explained that in the early hours of Wednesday, a distress call was received by Police officers assigned to escort Expatriates from.Symmetry Trading Company Limited that they were under attack by unknown gunmen. and in the process of fire exchange with the unknown gunmen, two Police officers and one of the expatriate died while two other expatriates  were kidnapped.

The statement further explained that more Police officers have been deployed to the area for trial of the hoodlums and rescue of the kidnapped expatriates.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Benue State Samuel Ortom in a Press Statement signed by Terver Akase, Chief Press Secretary has condemned in its entirety  the attack on security agencies by Youths in the State.

The Governor assured the people of the State that his administration will continue to ensure the security of lives and property of citizens at all times irrespective of insecurity threats from the criminal elements who do not mean well for the generality of Benue people.