Again herdsmen invade Benue communities, kill soldier, others

Suspected armed herdsmen have reportedly killed a soldier, injured another, killed two farmers and injured several others in separate attacks on Ochumekwu and Udedeku communities in Apa and Kwande Local Government areas of Benue State, respectively, Vanguard reports.

The military personnel attacked Sunday afternoon, according to the paper, were part of the troops of the military spike operation, code-named Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, deployed to the state to stem the activities of armed herdsmen and bandits terrorizing the locals.

They were said to have come under attack while on patrol in the community.

The attack came as two others were killed and several others sustained injuries during a raid on Udedeku community of Maav-Ya, Mkoonmom district of Mbaikyor Council Ward, Turan Jato-Aka in Kwande local government area.

It was gathered from a source in the area that the armed herdsmen, who had already taken over five Council Wards in Turan and the three Wards in Ikyurav Ya, invaded Udedeku community where they ambushed the victims and slaughtered them.

He said: “Apart from the two persons they killed like animals, as you can see from the pictures, several other persons also sustained injuries in the attack.

“At the moment all the five council wards in Turan and the three in Ikyurav Ya, in Kwande East are occupied by the herdsmen.

“The people have fled their homes to seek refuge elsewhere for fear of being killed by the well-armed herdsmen.”

Army confirms attack

Confirming the attack on his troops, the Force Commander of OPWS, Maj. Gen. Sunday Igbinomwanhia informed that three of the marauders were also killed in the offensive and several of their arms recovered.

He said: “The suspected armed herdsmen attacked the soldiers deployed in Ochumekwu, Apa LGA. They killed one personnel, and wounded one.

“The troops, in response, killed three and injured several of them. They recovered one AK-47 rifle and rounds of ammunition from them.”

On the incident in Kwande council, he said: “OPWS is currently carrying out a clearance operation to flush out suspected armed foreign herders who have invaded the LGA.”

Credit: Vanguard

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