At least four persons have been killed and several others injured as troops of Operation Whirl Stroke on Wednesday engaged in a fierce gun battle with suspected gunmen at Abaji in Shitile axis of Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State
During the encounter with the gunmen, the troops were said to have recovered one AK-47 rifle and several ammunition.
It was gathered that some gunmen in military uniform had stormed the market around 5pm on motorcycles and started shooting sporadically leading to the death of two people and many others injured.
According to the Chairman of the Local Government Area, Alfred Atera, the gunmen who are suspected to be loyal to the state warlord, Terwase Akwaza popularly known as Gana, rode into the market on motorcycles between 4 pm and 5 pm on Wednesday.
He said, “The gunmen camouflaged in military uniform and I think why they did that is because there is a curfew in this area and only security men are allowed to ride on motorcycles.
“So they camouflaged in army uniform and rode on motorcycles into Abaji market between 4:00 and 5:00 pm and started shooting sporadically.
“But troops of Operation Whirl Stroke who were on patrol of the area were quickly alerted and they responded to a distress call and repelled the gunmen.
“The troops overpowered the bandits with superior firepower, following which two of the bandits were eliminated by the troops with two persons earlier killed in the market place while others escaped with gunshot wounds,”
“One of the troops was injured during the encounter.
Meanwhile, the council chairman applauded the efforts of the military for their prompt response to repel the gunmen.