From Matthew Onah, Yola
An attack by herdsmen armed with locally-made guns on Kola community in Guyuk Local Government Area of Adamawa State on Wednesday has left five persons dead, the Police confirmed in Yola, the state capital.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Othman Abubakar, said the First Information Report from the Divisional Police Headquarters stationed in Guyuk, revealed that some herdsmen with locally-made guns attacked and burnt seven houses in Kola.
“Herdsmen armed with locally-made guns attacked Kola, burnt down seven houses killed a woman and four other men. Two other victims, a woman and a man sustained gun wounds. Others injured in the attacks have been taken to hospital for treatment while the dead had been taken to mortuary for autopsy, ” the report stated.
According to the police FIR, its swift response to the attacks restored normalcy to the area.
Reports from the area said five of the attackers had been apprehended by local vigilantes.
A resident, Lemuel Bappa, said the gunmen launched the attacks on Kola around 2am and shot three persons including a woman and burnt several houses.
But a police report said five persons died in the attacks carried out on Kola in the early hours of Wednesday.
One of our correspondents gathered that angry youths in the area protested the attacks. Sources said they barricaded the road leading to Guyuk, a development which obstructed vehicular movements in and out of the council.
Also, the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has said armed herdsmen attacked the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke in the Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, killing two soldiers and injuring five others, including the Commanding Officer.
The DHQ on Wednesday said the troops, however, remained undaunted as they had arrested of 21 militias in Nasarawa and 13 others in Benue.
The military said the herdsmen carried out the attacks last Tuesday, but the troops were able to recover weapons including one AK-47 rifle, two locally-made guns and 800 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition.
Operation Whirl Stroke was established on June 8 by the military to restore peace and security in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara witnessing herdsmen’s crises.
The acting Director of Defence Information, Brig-Gen. John Agim, stated this at a briefing to review the activities and achievements of the operation.
Agim said, “Some troops of the Operation Whirl Stroke carried out a cordon and search operation at a suspected herdsmen militia camp at the Bakin Kota village in the Keana LGA of Nasarawa State on June 26, at 6am. After the operation, the militia elements regrouped and attacked our team, killing two soldiers and injuring five personnel including the Officer Commanding.
“Following this incident, some troops were mobilised for reinforcement. In the firefight that ensued, some of the militia sustained injuries. Our troops were able to destroy their camp.
“The Chairman of the Nasarawa State branch of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Mohammed Hussein, later accused the military of killing six Fulani herdsmen and hundreds of cattle in the newspapers on June 28. This is not true. The information is completely false and unfounded.
“We want the people in these four states to go about their lawful duties without fear of molestation from any quarters. We have done this at a great cost to our personnel which include some who died.
“While the military is not in a hurry to link MACBAN to this militia, investigation has begun to unravel those behind the death of our men. The military is ready to take down those who are responsible alongside their sponsors no matter how highly placed.”
The military spokesperson said apart from the 34 suspects arrested in Benue and Nasarawa, 20 weapons were recovered.
“So far, the troops have arrested 21 suspects, recovered 20 weapons and 882 rounds of assorted ammunition in Nasarawa State. Similarly, 13 suspects have been apprehended in Benue State. The Air Force component has flown a total of 54 sorties totalling 90 hours and 25 minutes, using the Mi-35 helicopter gunship, the F-7Ni supersonic jet and the Mi-35M,” Agim noted.