From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
At least three suspected armed bandits were Sunday night reportedly gunned down at Adaka community in Makurdi local government area of Benue state following gun battle with troops of the joint military spike operation code named Operation Whirl Stroke, (OPWS).
It was learnt that the armed bandits stormed the area, in the suburb of Makurdi the state capital to rob and maim unsuspecting members of the community of their belongings before they were sighted and a distress call was put across to the military personnel who were on vehicle patrol around the area.
Our correspondent further gathered that the criminal elements however met a strong resistance from the military after they first opened fire on the troops.
An eye witness from the community who identified himself as Isaac Apine told newsmen in Makurdi that at about 8pm on Sunday, suspected armed bandits were seen loitering around the area to attack the entire community before a man and his wife ran into them and were shot in the process.
“It was when we heard terrible gunshots that we quickly alerted the military personnel who responded swiftly and came to repel the armed bandits”.
“In fact, if not for the prompt intervention of the military, something terrible more than this could have happened. The military engaged the bandits in a heavy gun dwell and at the end we saw them with three dead bodies.
“The bandits were armed with sophisticated weapons”
“We sincerely thank the Military personnel for their action and we are appealing for more deployment of security to our area to avert further attacks”, Apine said.
When contacted for his comments on the incident, Commander of OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini said his patrol team had an encounter with some armed bandits around Adaka community.
“Our troops are on top of the situation and will do everything possible with other security agencies on ground to protect the people”, Gen Yekini stated.
He however referred our correspondent to Defence Headquarters Media Operations team for further information on the Adaka incident.