Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters said its troops on internal security operations in Benue State have raided the stronghold of the most wanted criminal in the state, Gana, and killed two of his fighters in Mtan village in Utenge council ward of Katsina-Ala Local Government Area.
The DHQ said several others, including Gana, fled with various degrees of gunshot wounds, as the soldiers recovered several arms, ammunitions and other dangerous weapons from the camp.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, who made this known in a statement, said the soldiers also arrested seven members of the Bassa militia group while attempting to attack some Tiv villages over land disputes.
Enenche said: “In a special operation, a combined team of Operation WHIRL STROKE Special Forces troops of Sector 2 deployed in Gbise and Zaki Biam in Benue State and Sector 4 from Taraba State carried out a raid operation on the hideout of the wanted notorious criminal named Gana in Mtan village in Utenge council ward of Katsina-Ala LGA of Benue State on 16 May, two of the gang members were neutralized and others fled with various degrees of gunshot wounds. Exploitation revealed that Gana narrowly escaped death with gunshot wounds. Items recovered include one locally fabricated machine gun, six locally made rifles, two locally fabricated cartridge guns, one dane gun, two revolver pistols, two cartridge pistols, 27 rounds of 9mm ammunition two motorcycles, one camouflage shirt, one generator set, one bag of gun powder and assorted charms. Gana’s personal belongings, other items and thatched houses were destroyed.
“In another development, troops of Sector 3 deployed at Ondori in Doma LGA of Nasarawa State acting on credible intelligence that a group of Bassa armed militia were planning to attack some Tiv villages over land disputes. Troops raided their camp located at Kpelebewa village in Rukubi area of Doma LGA of Nasarawa State.
Troops apprehended seven members of the Bassa militia dressed in red shirts in the camp. Items recovered include one locally fabricated machine gun, six locally fabricated rifles, two locally fabricated cartridge guns, one Dane gun, two revolver pistols, two cartridge firing pistols, 57 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 29 rounds of 9mm ammunition and 22 cartridges of ammunition.
Other items are one dagger, poisoned bows and arrows, desert camouflage headgears and pouch, six phone handsets and some charms. The suspects are currently undergoing interrogation to be handed over to the Nigeria Police.
“The Military High Command congratulates the troops and requests the general public to continue to provide the Armed Forces with credible information to facilitate its operations in the country.”