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Soldiers nab armed robbers, recover cash, others after gun battle in Benue

By Joseph Wantu (Makurdi) and Kanayo Umeh (Abuja)
13 December 2019   |   4:16 am
Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), on Wednesday, exchanged gunfire with an armed robbery gang terrorising Abako community in Katsina-ala Council of Benue State.

• NAF neutralises terrorists, destroys their hideout
• Army fingers IPOB in viral video

Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), on Wednesday, exchanged gunfire with an armed robbery gang terrorising Abako community in Katsina-ala Council of Benue State.

The commander, Maj-Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, who disclosed this to newsmen in Makurdi yesterday, said his troops went after the robbers after receiving information from the locals that armed robbers invaded Abako to dispossess some people of their valuables.

Yekini explained that the armed robbers, on sighting the soldiers, immediately opened fire and his men responded, which resulted in the arrest some gangsters and recovery of N150,000 cash, a vehicle and dangerous weapons.

“One of them sustained gunshot wound and we have handed them over to the police, including the items recovered from them,” he added.

In another development, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Air Task Force (ATF) for Operation Lafiya Dole has neutralised a number of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) and destroyed some of their structures in massive air strikes yesterday at Kokiwa and Bula Korege on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State.

The air strikes were conducted in continuation of Operation Rattle Snake after credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports, which were also corroborated by series of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, established that the BHTs had intensified activities in the targeted settlements with a view to launching attacks against the troops’ locations in the area.

NAF spokesperson, Ibikunle Daramola, stated yesterday in Abuja that “this prompted the detailing of fighter jets and helicopter gunships by the ATF to attack the two locations.”

Meanwhile, the army has described a trending video purporting that Boko Haram terrorists captured and killed several troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East as false and the handiwork of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

This is contained in a statement signed by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, entitled ‘Video Clip Portraying The Alleged Capture and Killing of Some Nigerian Soldiers By Boko Haram Terrorists on December 10, 2019 is False’.

He stated, “The call by one Simon Ekpa (the principal actor in the clip) on soldiers of South East extraction presently serving in the North East to desert the army and return to Biafra, as well as calling on South Easterners not to join the Nigerian army, is an obvious indication of the essence and objective of the masterminds of this fake video, which should be discountenanced by the public.

“Meanwhile the leadership of the Nigerian army wishes to also reiterate its unflinching commitment to sustain the war against terrorism and shall not be deterred by the evil machinations or propagandist activities of mischievous persons whose main interest is the disunity of our beloved nation.”