Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Troops of the joint military spike operation, code-named Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) have repelled attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on three villages in Guma Local government area of Benue State.
Our correspondent gathered from a local who simply gave his name as Jonah that the attackers had invaded three villages, including Torkula, Kponko and Kaseyo all in Mbadwem Council Ward of Guma on Saturday.
The invaders were said to have stormed the villages shooting sporadically in all directions and killing some people while others were injured in the process of scampered for safety.
Although Jonah put the death toll at 12, another local, Tersoo Philip said only one person died immediately,while two others who were injured during the attack later died at the hospital, thus bringing the total number of deaths to three.
Tersoo said as soon as troops of the OPWS heard about the attack, they went on the trail of the invaders and located them deep in the bush.
Tersoo said a fierce exchange of gunfire ensued between the troops and the herdsmen during which five of the herdsmen were killed and that there were no casualties on the side of the troops. Three weapons were recovered from the herrdsmen.
Force Commander of OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini declined to comment on the attack, but referred our reporter to the Defense Head Quarters (DHQ) Information Department.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Catherine Anene, however, confirmed the attack, but said the Command was yet to ascertain the number of casualties at the time of this report.