Troops of the Nigerian Army have apprehended five gun-wielding herdsmen in six communities in Benue State, after a gun duel which led to the killing of one herdsman.
Our correspondent learnt that the troops of 72 Battalion Special Forces on Saturday nabbed the herdsmen at about 1.30pm in the communities identified as Gbajimba, Baka, Tomanyi, Iyode, Dogon Yashi and Chembe.
According to the army, the armed herdsmen on sighting the troops, said to be on Operation Cat Race, engaged them in a shoot-out.
It was gathered that during the exchange, one herdsman was killed while another was injured. Also, one AK-47 assault rifle was recovered after the encounter.
The herdsmen reportedly engaged in “destructive activities on farmlands” especially at Chembe community.
The army said on Sunday that all the suspects had been handed over to the police.
Also in Taraba State, the troops of 101 Special Battalion conducted a clearance operation along Suntai-Muji-Kungana Road, during which they encountered some bandits.
The bandits reportedly blocked the road and also dispossessed the road users of their valuables.
The army said the bandits, however, fled into the bushes on sighting the troops and none was arrested.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Texas Chukwu, confirmed the arrests in Benue on Sunday in a press release.
The army spokesman said, “Troops on clearance operation in Gbajimba, Baka, Tomanyi, Iyode and Dogon Yashi made contact with armed herdsmen who engaged them in a gun duel. In the exchange of fire, one herdsman was killed while three others were arrested. One AK-47 assault rifle was recovered after the encounter.
“Additionally, two herdsmen engaged in destructive activities on farmlands were arrested at Chembe community. Earlier, troops of the battalion on patrol at Jatoaka town arrested 10 armed robbery suspects. All the suspects have been handed over to the police.
“Also in Taraba State, troops of 101 Special Battalion conducted clearance operations along Suntai-Muji-Kungana Road and encountered bandits who blocked the road, harassed and dispossessed road users of their valuables. The bandits fled into the bushes after they were engaged by troops. A search of the area led to the recovery of a dane gun.”