4 Dead As OPWS Battle Armed Bandits in Fire Exchange, recover one Ak47, Ammunitions in Benue

March 25, 2021
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From Msurshima Andrew, Makurdi

Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke on Wednesday evening, engaged suspected armed bandits in a fierce gun battle at Abaji in Shitile of Katsina Ala local government area of Benue state killing four persons, with three people injured.

The troops also recovered one AK47 riffle and several ammunition during the  encounter with the armed bandits.

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Our correspondent gathered that the exchange took place when the troops responded to a distress call that suspected armed bandits had gone to launch an attack on Abaji market in the  Shitile community.

 It was further gathered that the troops immediately mobilised to the Market to repel the bandits leading to a shootout between them and the bandits .

A source from Katsina Ala town who pleaded to remain anonymous said the OPWS troops overpowered the bandits by superior firepower, following which two of the bandits were eliminated by the troops while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

One of the soldiers was also said to have been injured during the encounter.

The source explained that the armed bandits had earlier invaded the Abaji market and opened fire on the people, and in the process, killed two traders before troops arrived to repel them.

The troops were said to have pursued after the armed bandits suspected to be Gana boys and neutralized two of them bringing the total number of causalities to four.

“It was around 4pm to 5pm this evening when we suddenly heard gunshots in and around the Abaji market and people started running for dear live. Despite running the bandits continued shooting and in the process, killed two persons.

“We quickly alerted OPWS troops and they responded immediately and came to repel the armed bandits. The army went after the armed gang and engaged them in a gun duel.

“They were able to killed few of them because we saw two dead bodies in addition to the two persons earlier killed in the market place”, the source said.

He commended the effort of the soldiers and appealed to the federal and state governments to deploy more security personnel to the area to address the increasing spate of insecurity in the Sankera axis.

When contacted by telephone, the Police Public Relations Officer PPRO DSP Catherine Anene said she was yet to be briefed on the matter.

“Sorry, I’m waiting for report of the incidence. I will get back to you once I get the report,” Anene said.

Efforts to get the force commander of OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini proved abortive as his cell phone number could not be reached and text messages sent to his phone could not be delivered as at the time of filing this report.

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