By Peter Duru
At least 14 armed bandits were early Sunday morning gunned down when they invaded the Katsina-Ala Police Station in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state to releases their detained colleagues.
A source in the area who preferred anonymity disclosed that the gun battle also left some of the bandits and the police personnel seriously injured.
He stated that the heavily armed bandits numbering over 50 stormed the station in Toyota cars popularly known as ‘Duck Yash’ and motorcycles shooting sporadically and made attempt to take over the police station.
According to the source “they were members of the armed bandits who have been terrorising the people in Katsina-Ala, Ukum and Logo Local Government Areas.
“They invaded the Katsina-Ala Police station with sophisticated weapons at about 2am Sunday in Toyota Duck Yash cars and motorcycles to free some of their members who were captured and detained at the station.
“But they met a stiff resistance from the police personnel at the station who engaged them in a bloody gun fight.
“The gun battle created pandemonium in Katsina-Ala town and neighbouring communities becaue it was like a war had broken out in the area and people were running in all directions to save themselves.
“Luckily the police were able to repel them after about 30 minutes exchange. When the bandits retreated about 14 corpses littered the vicinity of the station, several of them also sustained bullet wounds and some others were arrested.
“As we speak there is stinch of blood all around the vicinity of station while some of the motorcycles and cars brought by the bandits were also abandoned by the overpowered bandits.
“We also heard that some of the police personnel were killed in the attack but I cannot ascertain that for now,” he said.
The development was confirmed by the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene in a stament on behalf of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Madaki Audu.
The statement read, “it is no longer news that series of operations are going on in Kastina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.
“These activities are geared towards a total clamp down on bandits activities in the area. On June 19, 2021 five bandits were arrested and detained at Kastina-Ala Police Division for investigation and prosecution.
“On June 20, 2021 at about 01:30hrs more than 50 other gang members of the detainees mobilized and invaded the police station to rescue their counterparts.
“Officers at the division who were already at alert engaged them in a gun duel and were able to subdue the bandits. Fourteen (14) of them were brought down during the exchange of fire while several others escaped with gunshot injuries. Operatives in the area are currently on the trail of suspects at large.
“The good people of Kastina-Ala town are advised to remain calm and avail every useful information about the bandits to the police.”