Scores killed as troops, militia battle in Benue

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 .

Our correspondent learnt that 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. ”

Our correspondent learnt that the weapons recovered from the militia group were one AK- 47 rifle , two AK- 47 rifle magazines , 60 rounds of 7 . 62 mm 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 .

Our correspondent gathered that 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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