Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Nigerian army announced last night that one police officer and 10 soldiers were killed in the state of Benue while performing a routine operational task.
There were also unconfirmed reports yesterday that more than 50 civilians and 200 houses were burned after the invasion of troops into the Konshish local government area.
However, a statement from Nigerian army spokesman Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima said that after the killings, Army Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Ibrahim Attahir ordered field commanders to fish and deal resolutely with criminal gangs. in the area responsible for the killings.
“Troops of the Nigerian Army (NA) operating in the state of Benue were attacked while performing a routine operational task. Troops consisting of one officer and 10 soldiers were initially declared missing, prompting the deployment of a joint search and rescue team consisting of NA troops and Operational Vortex personnel.
“Unfortunately, the search and rescue team found all the missing troops dead in the Konshisha site in the state of Benue. “Although the bodies of the killed troops were immediately evacuated, efforts are underway to find the perpetrators of this heinous crime with the aim of bringing them to justice,” it is stated.
The statement said the Nigerian army led by Attahiru remained determined to ensure stability in the state of Benue, as well as in other parts of the country affected by the activities of criminal gangs.
The military was said to be determined to ensure that an unprovoked attack did not disrupt the general peace enjoyed by local residents.
“The COAS has therefore instructed field commanders to ensure sustained efforts to combat and resolutely confront these bad elements that threaten peace in the area,” it said.
The statement recalled that the state of Benue, which was the focus of violent conflict, enjoyed relative peace after the success achieved by various security agencies working tirelessly to protect law-abiding citizens and ensure that they conduct their legitimate business without fear of harassment by criminals. .
He appealed to the public to provide useful information that would lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of the crime.