Several dead, injured as troops battle militia in Benue

Boko Haram: 70 soldiers face court martial

Troops of the Nigerian Army attached to the Operation Whirl Stroke have engaged militiamen in a camp discovered in the Akor community in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, killing scores of the armed men.

The troops, on Saturday while on a clearance operation along Gbajimba to Akor area, found the men armed with AK-47 rifles with large herds of cattle.

A gun battle was said to have ensued, during which the troops dislodged the armed men from their camp.

The army said the troops killed an “unspecified number of the militiamen while others escaped into nearby bushes with gunshot injuries.”

The weapons recovered from the militia group were one AK-47 rifle, two AK-47 rifle magazines, 60 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and five motorcycles.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, who confirmed the incident, said efforts were on to get other fleeing members of the militia group.

Chukwu said, “Troops deployed in Operation Whirl Stroke in the Guma LGA encountered militiamen with large herds of cattle.

The troops dislodged the militiamen from their camp following superior firepower. Unspecified numbers of the men were killed by the troops. Efforts are on to get other fleeing members of the militia.”

Meanwhile, troops of the 222 Battalion deployed in Operation Lafiya Dole on Friday, while on an ambush operation around Malari village in Borno State, killed two Boko Haram terrorists.

Other terrorists reportedly fled into the bush with gunshot injuries.

The army spokesman, Chukwu, said 10 bicycles were recovered from the terrorists during the encounter.

Also, troops of the Nigerian Army attached to the Operation Lafiya Dole have arrested a Boko Haram terrorist on the wanted list, Maje Lawan, in the Banki Local Government Area of Borno State.

The suspect, who is number 96 on the wanted list published by the army, was apprehended after he sneaked into an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp in the Banki area.

The army had in October 2015 released the names of 100 wanted Boko Haram terrorists to the public, saying the public should assist the troops with information to enable their arrest.

In November 2016, the army released the photographs of another batch of 55 wanted Boko Haram terrorists.

Most of the terrorists have yet to be arrested.

Chukwu said, “Troops on Saturday arrested Lawan at Banki. The suspect is believed to be number 96 on the wanted list. He is currently undergoing preliminary investigation and will be handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.

The public are reminded to be vigilant and to report any suspicious person, movements and activities for prompt action.”

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