ARMED invaders have launched a new assault on the Ikobi community in the Apa LGA of Benue State, leaving three soldiers wounded and six civilians dead.
Sources revealed that a weekend invasion by armed individuals resulted in the deaths of one soldier and caused serious injuries to two of his fellow soldiers.
However, the military has acknowledged that three soldiers were hurt during the clash with the criminals.
According to a resident, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) soldiers who were stationed at Agagbe responded to a distress call and came upon the bandits at Tse-Abwa in the Gwer West LGA.
Abu Umoru, the representative for Apa State Constituency, also confirmed the killings.
Umoru said, “It’s a confirmed story; people suspected to be herders invaded the Ikobi community and so far six lives have been lost within the past four days. They could be more. We had to put a call to OPWS, and the commander has mobilised soldiers to the community.
“People have fled their homes, so we can’t even know the exact number of casualties for now.”
Meanwhile, the police spokesperson in the state, SP Catherine Anene, said she did not have the information.
But, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) spokesperson, Flight Lieutenant Katty Audu, in a statement, confirmed the attack on Ikobi community and said three soldiers were wounded in the encounter with the armed herders.
He said, “Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke received information about an attack on Ikobi community on the 4th of February, 2023, at about 5pm and responded immediately. The gallant troops moved to the area and cleared the community. The rampaging armed herders fled towards Nasarawa State on sighting the troops.
“The situation, though dicey, has been stabilised. The operation continued the next day, 5th February, 2023, in adjoining communities. While the troops were moving towards Agagbe, they had contact with some bandits.
“The bandits fired at the troops and our troops engaged them with superior firepower that lasted for about 30 minutes. Three of our troops sustained various degrees of injury. The injured troops are currently receiving treatment.”