From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The troops of the joint military spike operation, codenamed Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), has neutralised three notorious armed militia loyal to the slain militia warlord, Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana.
The suspected armed militias were killed in two separate military operations in Katsina-Ala and Ukum Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Benue State, on Thursday and Friday, last week.
Sources from the areas told newsmen that the breakthrough had caused serious jubilation in both Ukum and Katsina-Ala, as youths took to the streets to celebrate the killing of the dare devil militias.
Confirming the report, Public Relations Officer of OPWS, Flying Officer Audu Katty, gave the names of the armed militias as Iortyom Wuave, aka JANTA, Terdoo Kiorga, aka APAAPA, and Orkulam Mom, aka ORBUTEE.
“The troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have continued to intensify the fight against criminal armed gangs and banditry in its operation area. The renewed intensity has resulted in the destruction of many bandits camps in the past few days.
“Notably, on February 24, 2022, at about 1500hrs, while on fighting patrol, troops responded to a distress call at Tse Mela in Yooyo Council Ward of Katsina-Ala LGA on the sighting of Iortyom Wuave aka Janta, a notorious armed militia gang leader on OPWS wanted list.
Katty said on receiving the distress call, troops swiftly mobilised to the location, adding that on sighting troops, Janta fired in the direction of the troops, while he tried to escape into the nearby bush, but was neutralised during the engagement.
The OPWS spokesman said in a related development, troops in the early hours of Friday, raided the hideouts of notorious armed bandits at Tse Jundo, Mbamena Council Ward in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State during which two armed bandits, Terdoo Kiorga, aka Apaapa and Orkulam Mom, aka Orbuter, were neutralised by troops in a shootout.
Katty listed items recovered from the bandits’ hideouts to include five AK 47 rifles, one Pump Action rifle, three AK 47 magazines, 127 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, 12 cartridges, five cell phones and assorted charms.
Katty noted that troops have continued to conduct both kinetic and non-kinetic operations, in order to ensure relative peace across the JOA, to enable law abiding citizens go about their normal businesses while permitting economic activities to thrive.