By Peter Duru, Makurdi
No fewer than three suspected armed bandits were Sunday night reportedly gunned down in a gun battle with troops of the joint military spike operation codenamed Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, at Adaka village, a suburb of Makurdi, the Benue state capital.
Vanguard gathered from an eyewitness that the armed bandits stormed the area to rob and maim unsuspecting members of the community when a distress call was put across to the military personnel who were on patrol around the area.
The witness who identified himself as Isaac Apine told newsmen in Makurdi that “at about 8 pm on Sunday, the suspected armed bandits were seen loitering around the area to attack the entire community before a man and his wife ran into them and they were shot at.
“It was when we heard the terrible gunshots that we quickly alerted the military personnel who responded swiftly and came to repel the armed bandits.
“In fact, if not for the prompt intervention of the military, something terrible more than this could have happened. The bandits were armed with sophisticated weapons. The military engaged them in a heavy gun dwell and at the end three of the bandits were killed.
“We sincerely thank the military personnel for their action and we are appealing for the deployment of more security to our area to avert further attacks,” Apine said.
When contacted, Commander of OPWS, Major General Adeyemi Yekini who confirmed the incident said “our troops are on top of the situation and will do everything possible with other security agencies on the ground to protect the people,” stated.
He, however, referred newsmen to Defence Headquarters Media Operations team for further information on the incident.