By Augustine Osayande
Troops of Operation “WHIRL STROKE” have destroyed a camp of suspected armed herdsmen harbouring in the forest boundary between Benue and Nasarawa States.
Confirming the report, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche, said the tremendous successes against criminal elements, followed a credible intelligence on the presence of some suspected armed herdsmen harbouring in the forest boundary between Benue and Nasarawa States.
He said troops of Sector 1 engaged the bandits at first light with many of them escaping with gunshot wounds, adding that their camp was subsequently destroyed.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, also stated that troops of Sector 2 deployed at Gbise in Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State, in conjunction with troops of Sector 4, conducted a joint dawn-raid operation on the identified hideout at Adu, following actionable intelligence on the possible hideout of remnants of the late Gana’s militia elements around Adu general area in Chanchanji council ward of Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State.
He said in the course of the operation, troops had contact with the armed militias who fired at troops as they closed in on their position.
Enenche said the “gallant” troops swiftly responded with superior fire, forcing the bandits to flee the camp in disarray into the surrounding forest.
He said 2 armed militias were neutralized while 2 locally-made pistols were recovered from the bandits in the course of the encounter.
Enenche further stated that troops carried out another raid operation on another identified bandits’ hideout at Chanchanji in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State and Sai in Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State during which 3 suspects namely; Saalu Igbua Terlumun, Benjamin Valentine and Milton Gbegi were arrested at Sai while Isaac Hilega also known as Bawasa and Godwin Terwase were arrested at Chanchanji.
He said the gallant troops combed the hideouts leading to the recovery of 16 handsets, charms and some substances suspected to be Indian hemp.
Enenche said the suspects were currently undergoing preliminary investigation after which they would be handed over to the police for further action.
He also stated that the troops had dominated the area with fighting patrols to deter armed elements and deny them freedom of movement.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations said the military high command congratulated the gallant troops for the feats recorded and encouraged them to sustain the onslaught against the criminal elements.