From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) are reportedly on the trail of suspected armed bandits who reportedly ambushed soldiers on patrol at Bonta Village in Konshisha, Benue State.
The soldiers were said to be on routine patrol in parts of Konshisha and Oju local government areas of the state on Monday when they came under severe armed bandits attack at about 5 pm.
Our correspondent gathered from sources in the area that the armed bandits codenamed “Bonta Tivs” attacked the soldiers for coming to destroy the illegal road blocks they had mounted.
It was further gathered that, at the time of this report, two soldiers on patrol at the time were missing, though there are reports that one of them has been found as at this morning.
According to the source who did not want his name mentioned in print, the soldiers were on patrol around Bonta village when they were ambushed by some armed bandits, who saw the patrol troops coming and opened fire on them.
Our source disclosed that OPWS troops quickly responded to a distress call and swiftly repelled the armed bandits.
‘When it happened, we immediately alerted members of OPWS who responded swiftly, but before their arrival, the gunmen fled. However, troops of the OPWS are already on the trail of the bandits and we pray they are able to rescue the remaining missing soldiers soon,’ the source said.
The source further indicated that the OPWS troops slept overnight in Konshisha and are continuing with the operation today (Tuesday).
‘I believe this was carried out probably to intimidate the military who are doing a great job in the state.’
When contacted, OPWS Commander Major General Adeyemi Yekini said he could not comment on an ongoing operation and referred reporters to the Information Department of the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.