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Benue: Suspected herders kill six, soldiers injured in gun duel 

Suspected armed herders at the weekend launched another attack on some communities in Benue State killing six people and wounding three soldiers.

The incident, according to locals occurred at a border  between Tse-Abwa Mbapa council ward in Gwer West and Ikobi in Apa local government areas of the state.

The attack on Ikobi community was said to have started since last Thursday that spanned to Saturday.

“On the 2nd of February, Fulani herdsmen macheted a man called Usman Ochowechi in his farm close to his village of Oloke in  Ikobi and they passed a message through him that they would be coming.

“And this they did as they attacked and killed two persons, and one Miss Eba Usman is still missing since the 3rd of February in Ikobi Ochekwu, APA LGA, Benue. After which they came back again on Saturday, 4th February, 2022 and killed four persons in the same Ikobi.

It was further gathered that following the attack, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke were deployed to the area to prevent further attacks. Members of the community said the troops gallantly repelled the invaders.

The OPWS troops were however ambushed by the killer herders  in Mbappa, Gwer West Local Government Area of the state. The troops succeeded in overpowering the attackers and three soldiers sustained injuries.

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Confirming the attack, a member of the House of Assembly representing Apa State Constituency, Abu Umoru said, “In the last six days, six people have been killed.”

When contacted, the state Command Spokesperson, Catherine Anene, said she was not aware of the attack but advised to talk to the military.

Meanwhile the Public Relations Officer of Operation Whirl Stroke, Flight Lt. Audu Katty ,who  confirmed that three soldiers sustained injuries was silent on the casualties from the communities.

In a statement he forwarded to our correspondent, the OPWS spokesman said, “We received information about an attack on Ikobi Community on February 4, 2023, at about 5pm and responded immediately.

“The gallants troops moved to the area and cleared the community. The rampaging armed herders fled towards Nasarawa State on sighting the troops. The situation, though dicey, has been stabilised.

“The operation continued the next day, February 5, 2023 in adjoining communities. While the troops were moving towards  Agagbe, they had contact with some bandits. The bandits fired at the troops and our troops engaged them with superior fire power that lasted for about 30 minutes. Three of our troops sustained various degree of injuries. The injured troops are currently receiving treatment,” he added.

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