Gunmen have killed an army captain and 11 other soldiers in a deadly ambush at Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State.
The incident occurred on Monday, April 5, when an Army Captain, A.T Adebayo, in the company of four soldiers, was on a routine patrol to the joint Operation Whirl Stroke in Oju Local Government Area of the state.
Sources told DAILY NIGERIAN that while passing through Konshisha town, the gunmen, numbering over 150, laid ambush on the officer and the four soldiers and killed them on the spot.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that Konshisha town is a regular route used by troops deployed in Oju and Katsina-Ala local government areas of the state.
The town has become notorious for harbouring bandits and other militia groups.
The source added that when the officer and the soldiers were discovered missing, a detachment of seven soldiers from Oju was sent out to Konshisha town to look for them.
According to the source, the seven soldiers who were sent on reinforcement missions too never returned alive.
After several hours of waiting in vain for their return, a robust search and rescue joint operation of troops and Operation WHIRL STROKE were sent to search for them.
The source added that the gunmen had made away with the rifles and thousands of ammunition of the dead soldiers.
The charred remains of the soldiers were later found in a forest in Gbinde village, just as the soldiers operational vans were burnt to ashes.
According to him, during the joint search operations, several other bandits were encountered and killed.
The Army spokesman, Mohammed Yerima, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Mr Yerima said efforts were ongoing to track down the perpetrators of this heinous crime with a view to bringing them to justice.
According to him, the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Ibrahim Attahiru would remain resolute in ensuring stability in Benue and other parts of the country that are affected by the activities of criminal gangs.
He gave assurance that the army authority was determined to ensure that the unprovoked attack does not disrupt the general peace being enjoyed by the local inhabitants.
According to him, the COAS has therefore directed commanders on the ground to ensure sustained efforts to fish out and deal decisively with these bad elements who are threatening the peace in the area.
“It may be recalled that Benue which was a hotbed for violent clashes has been enjoying relative peace following the successes achieved by the various security agencies who have been working tirelessly to safeguard law-abiding citizens and ensure they go about their legitimate business without fear of harassment by criminals.
“The Nigerian army appeal to the public to volunteer useful information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of this dastardly act,” he said.