Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
A joint military and police operation in Taraba State, yesterday, led to the killing of 10 Fulani militiamen terrorising Taraba and neighbouring Adamawa State.
At a joint press briefing at the Taraba State Police Command headquarters in Jalingo yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Falaye Olalayi, and Brigade Commander, 23 Army Brigade, Yola, Brig. Gen. B.A. Mohammed, said the bandits were killed during an exchange of gunfire.
Olalayi told journalists that men of the Nigerian Army and the police got intelligence that bandits had camped in large numbers at a border village between Adamawa and Taraba, terrorising people around the area, and quickly mobilised their men to the area.
According to him, the bandits engaged the joint army and police team deployed to the area around Katibu-Nega axis but were overpowered by the team, killing 10 of them in the process.
He said: “Ten of them were killed and exhibits such as guns of different kinds and four motorcycles were recovered from them. One suspect was arrested while others escaped with bullet wounds into the bush.”
Olalayi said that the command was committed to making life unbearable for bandits who take pleasure in wreaking havoc on innocent people in the region.
“In our commitment to ensure the protection of life and property in Taraba State, we have resolved to give armed bandits terrorising the people of Taraba State a thorough fight,” he said.
He urged the public to look out for people with bullet wounds and report them to the police and other security agencies, even as he solicited the cooperation of the public in tackling security challenges in the state.
The lone suspect arrested in the operation, told journalists in an interview that he was arrested by the military in Dung village in Adamawa State with a dane gun on his way home from a village where he went with his friends to pay a condolence visit.
Items recovered and paraded alongside the 10 dead bodies of the bandits included three AK47 rifles, two single-barrel guns, one double-barrel gun, one G3 rifle, two cutlasses and four motorcycles.