From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Fourteen armed bandits were reportedly gunned down in the early hours of Sunday during a gunfight with the police in Katsina-Ala, Benue State.
Our source from the area who simply gave his name as Tersoo said the armed bandits numbering over 50 had driven in Toyota Corolla vehicles, popularly known as ‘Duck Nyash’, to the police station where some of their gang members were being detained.
It was gathered that the police who were alert and ready for a possible invasion by the bandits wasted no time in engaging them in a gun duel leading to the death of 14 of the attackers.
‘Surprisingly, the police gunned down over 10 of these bandits, while many of them escaped with gun wounds. We also heard that two of them were captured alive,’ our source said.
The intensity of the gun battle between the police and the armed bandits caused residents of Katsina-Ala to run for cover for several hours.
When contacted, the Benue State Police Command through spokeswoman DSP Catherine Anene confirmed that 14 of the bandits were brought down by the police during the attack.
‘It is no longer news that series of operations are going on in Kastina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State. These activities are geared towards a total clampdown on bandits activities in the area.
‘On 19th June 2021, five bandits were arrested and detained at Kastina-Ala Police Division for investigation and prosecution.
‘On 20th June 2021 at about 0130 hrs more than 50 other gang members of the detainees mobilized and invaded the police station to rescue their counterparts.
‘Officers at the division who were already at alert engaged them in a gun duel and were able to subdue the bandits. Fourteen of them were brought down during the exchange of fire, while several others escaped with gunshot injuries.’
Anene added that security operatives in the area are currently on the trail of suspected armed bandits who are now at large.
‘The good people of Kastina-Ala town are advised to remain calm and avail every useful information about the bandits to the police,’ she said.