We are investigating the identity of the assailants – Police CP
BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI – Three persons were Thursday night reportedly shot dead by unknown gunmen in Anyiin in Logo local government area of Benue state.
Logo local government area is one of the areas of the state that recorded several deaths during the new year days attacks by herdsmen that led to the death of over 73 persons.
Confirming the fresh killings, the Benue state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni who said the command was yet to establish the identity of the assailants, explained that some of the survivors of the attack had been moved to the hospital for treatment.
Narrating the Police report on the said attack, Mr. Owoseni said, “the Police Special Forces Team deployed at Anyiin community were alerted to gunshot sounds emanating from Tsokwa stream, where the people fetch water from.
“The Team quickly went to the area where they heard the gunshots and on getting their, some victims, six in number who had been attacked by some armed men who had fled the scene, were found.
“On the spot enquiry conducted by the Police team in the area discovered that three of the victims had gone to fetch water at the stream and while they were fetching water, they said they suddenly had some gunshots.
“It was discovered that this same armed men had also attacked four others riding on two motorcycles and in the process snatched one of the motorcycle from them.
“The Police team met on the ground four wounded victims while two others were met dead. They quickly rushed the four victims to the hospital, but one later died, but three survivors are still receiving treatment at the hospital.
“The surviving three happened to be those that were fetching water from the stream. The ones that were dead were those riding on the motorcycles while one of them survived,
“The Police team also recovered one of the motorcycles while one was snatch by the gunmen. After an immediate combing of the area, one empty shell of ammunition was recovered.
“The operation to search and hunt for the assailants was immediately launched but it went into the night and it’s still ongoing in that area for us to get hold of these assailants.
“We have also strengthened our presence there. Though we had the presence of the Specialized Team, the Special Forces of the Police, these are people who were trained for counter insurgency operations.
“They have strengthened their hold in order to give confidence to the people in that area that we are equal to wading off any attacks, but the way this happened is such that, like I said, it took place in the night when the people went to fetch water. Otherwise we had a strong presence of the Police team there.
So, after knowing from the direction which the attackers fired their gunshots, we have now focused out attention towards that area and to strengthen our hold in order to give the people in that area assurances that they will be protected.
“In fact the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, in charge of Operations is now in that area for ariel surveillance of the bushes towards the other side of Benue River.
“And from the ariel surveillance that is being carried out now, we will be able to know where these assailants came from.”
Mr. Owoseni stated further that the command had set up Tactical Operation Points across the state to enable the command combat and fight any form of crime in the state.
He appealed for calm and cautioned residents of Mukurdi town against fleeing their abode and communities for fear of the unknown assuring that enough men and materials had been deployed to the state by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to fight crimes and the suspected herdsmen incursions.