TROOPS of the Operation Whirl Stroke, covering Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, in the early hours of Thursday, reportedly killed two armed herdsmen at a camp near the boundary between Nasarawa and Benue states.
It was learnt that the troops were said to have trailed the group of armed herdsmen to their camp and recovered two AK47 rifles with 25 rounds of 7.62 special ammunition from them.
The armed herdsmen, according to locals, invaded Tse-Torkula community in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State on Wednesday, injuring two people before the troops of the OPWS were alerted.
According to one of the locals, who identified himself as Torkuma Jande, the invaders had stormed the community at about 6pm, shooting indiscriminately before being repelled by other security forces stationed around the area.
“It was about 6pm on Wednesday evening when we suddenly began to hear sounds of gunshots around our community. Some of the security forces around the area were alerted and they immediately moved towards the direction of the firing and pushed back the attackers.
“We also alerted troops of the OPWS stationed at neighbouring Umenger and Ukaa communities, but before they could reach there, the herdsmen had fled to their camp located towards Nasarawa State.
“But the troops of OPWS traced the herdsmen, searching for them till early hours of this morning when they stormed their camp near the Benue/Nasarawa boundary in Keana,” Jande said.
A native, Mrs. Mdzer, who ran from the affected community to Umenger village, said she was preparing evening meal for her family when she heard gunshots close to their house.
“I heard that soldiers were alerted and they pursued the herdsmen, who had built tents in our village. When the sound of gunshots became too intense, I gathered my children and ran towards Umenger,” she added.
However, efforts to get the reaction of the Force Commander of OPWS, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, failed as he neither picked his calls nor responded to text messages sent to his cell phone.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Catherine Anene, said she had yet to receive report of any attack.