- Defense Headquarters says soldiers prevented fresh ethnic clash along Benue-Taraba border after a gunfight with armed militias in Jootar
- Defense spokesman Nwachukwu says troops of Operation Whirl Stroke killed two of the armed militias and peace has returned to the area
- Soldiers also destroyed an armed militia camp and dislodged the criminals in Tsezungo community in Kwande local government area of Benue state
The Nigerian Army has stopped a development that could have degenerated into another ethnic clash in the north central.
The Defense Headquarters reported on Saturday, April 20 that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke deployed to conduct anti-banditry operations in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states stopped an attack by bandits along the Benue-Taraba border.
Defense spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said in a press statement that one set of troops "neutralized two armed bandits in a recent encounter with the bandits on Friday 19 April 2019."
The troops, who were on a fighting patrol along Nagi-Ucheki- Audu- Enger- Adudu axis in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue state, were said to have responded to an attack by a group of bandits, killing one, while others fled the scene.
The troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, 2 rifle magazines, 48 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition, 1 machete, 1 mobile phone and a bag of charms abandoned by the criminals.
Nwachukwu said another set of troops of Operation Whirl Stroke deployed in Zaki Biam in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue state averted a violent ethnic clash between Tivs and Jukuns at Jootar, a border community between Ukum and Wukari Local Government Areas of Taraba state.
"The vigilant troops, while on a fighting patrol responded to a distress call alerting them of an imminent violent clash between Tivs and Jukuns at the border community.
The intervening troops met with stiff resisistance by armed militias who engaged the troops in a fire fight. The troops however, promptly neutralized one of the militias firing with an automatic weapon, while others fled the scene."
After the battle, the troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, 2 magazines and 26 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition from the neutralized bandit, a locally fabricated gun and a dagger from the fleeing militias.
The border town of Jootar and the adjoining communities remain calm as troops are currently dominating the general area, the statement said.
In another encounter, troops on a fighting patrol to Ikyoawe, Tsegumme and Tsezongo communities in kwande Local Government Area of Benue state destroyed an armed militia camp after dislodging the criminals, following a gun duel at Tsezungo on Friday 19 April 2019.
The armed bandits, who were overpowered by the troops escaped with gunshot wounds abandoning munitions and other logistics.
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After the encounter, the troops recovered 2 rifle magazines, 60 rounds of 7.62 mm (Special) ammunition and 2 mobile handsets. The troops are still on the trail of the bandits.
The Army urged members of the public are therefore enjoined to watch out for persons with gunshot wounds seeking medical attention and promptly report them to security agencies close to their location.
The fightings across the country has saddened the presidency.
Legit.ng reported earlier that President Buhari has expressed deep sadness at the latest killings in some northern states such as Adamawa and Taraba.
In a statement released by presidential spokesman Garba Shehu on Saturday, April 20, the Nigerian leader described the latest attacks as 'needless violence'.
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