- One person was killed and nine others were injured
By George Okoh
Operation Whirlwind Operations (OPWS) on Wednesday night engaged suspected armed gangs in a fierce armed battle near Abaji in the Shitila axis in the Katsina Al local government area of Benue State.
Benue state police confirmed the attack, revealing that bandits killed one person and injured nine during the attack.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, confirming the attack in a statement on Thursday, said: “On March 24, 2021. Around 6:30 p.m., as traders closed from the Abaji market in the Kastina-Ala local government area, bandits disguised as shoppers began sporadically shooting and killing one person, while nine people were injured.
“A joint operation by the police and other security agencies returned fire and threw the bandits into the forest with gunshot wounds, where they were detained in search.
“The body of the deceased was deposited in the Primary Health Care Center, Abaja, while the injured persons were receiving medical assistance at the General Hospital, Kastina-Ala.
“Several patrol teams were immediately called to the scene to help the police on the ground. Cordon and search operation in progress. “
Although police have identified a number of victims, local sources claim that at least four people were killed during the attack.
According to a source from the city of Katsina Al who spoke on condition of anonymity, armed bandits attacked the Abaji market and opened fire on people, killing four traders before troops could repel them.
The source claimed that OPWS troops overpowered the bandits with superior firepower, after which the troops eliminated two bandits while the others fled with gunshot wounds.
It was said that one of the soldiers was among those who were injured during the meeting.
The soldiers, the source said, chased the gangs suspected of being boys from Ghana and neutralized two of them, bringing the total number of causations to six.
“It was around 4pm to 5pm tonight, when we suddenly heard gunshots in and around Abaji Market, and people started running after their lives. Despite the run, the bandits continued firing, killing two people.
“We soon warned the OPWS troops and they reacted immediately and came to repel the armed gangs. The army went after the armed gang and engaged them in an armed duel.
“They managed to kill a few of them, because in addition to the two people killed earlier in the market, we also saw two dead bodies,” said the source.
He praised the efforts of the soldiers and appealed to the federal and federal governments to deploy more security personnel to the area to deal with the growing influx of insecurity in the Sanker axis.
OPWS Major General Commander Adeyemi Yekini could not be reached when he was called by phone.