Benue Gun Battle: 21 Herdsmen, One Soldier Dead

By Ikenga Chronicles August 21, 2018

Benue Gun Battle: 21 Herdsmen, One Soldier Dead

The Force Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Adeyemi Yekini, has revealed that troops killed 21 armed herdsmen and lost one soldier in Benue State.

Mr. Yekini made this revelation on Monday at the Tactical Air Command Headquarters, Makurdi, OPWS headquarters.

He further disclosed that two soldiers also sustained various degrees of injuries during the operation and were receiving treatment at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Base Hospital.

“During the firefight, the Mi35 spotted a group of about 20 armed herdsmen riding on motorcycles moving along the axis towards Nasarawa State.

“Fifteen of the armed herdsmen on the motorcycles were neutralised with rocket fire from the Mi35 while others escaped with varying degrees of injuries.

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“OPWS troops lost one soldier while two others sustained gunshots wounds. The two personnel are currently responding to treatment at NAF Base Hospital.”

He said the troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, two AK 47 magazines, 60 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and five motorcycles during the operations.

Mr. Yekini also said that OPWS raided Tse Akwaza camp belonging to Benue’s notorious gang leader, Terwase Akwaza (aka Gana) on Sunday, using airstrikes by Mi35 which neutralised key buildings before troops moved in for mop-up operation.

According to him, nothing significant was found, adding that it was not clear whether or not Gana was killed during the assault.

“It was not clear if Gana was killed during the assault, but a trail of blood seen in the building suspected to be where he slept, suggests he might have been hit.

“A motorcycle usually used by Gana was also badly damaged during the air strike. Efforts are in progress to confirm if Gana was killed in the attack and if not, we will still go after him.”

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“OPWS recovered seven automatic weapons from armed militiamen in the past six weeks alone, four in Nasarawa and three in Benue State.

“In all, the OPWS has recovered a total of 40 weapons, 1,100 rounds of ammunition while 60 suspects have been arrested since the inception of the operation.

“All the suspects have been handed over to the DSS and Police in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, depending on where they were arrested and the nature of their offences, if security or crime-related.”