Troops Launch Manhunt For Abductors Of Soldiers On Peace Mission In Benue

LAGOS APRIL 7TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Soldiers of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) have begun a manhunt for suspected attackers who ambushed fellow soldiers in a rural community in Konshisha council area of Benue.

 The attackers on Monday evening seized some soldiers deployed to maintain peace between two warring communities of Konshisha and Oju LGAs respectively.

 It was learnt that the soldiers’ deployment to the area followed a fresh hostility that broke out between the Bonta community in Konshisha LGA and Ukpute-Ainu in Oju LGA over an age-long land dispute.

 Both communities borders each other and have continued to engage themselves in a bitter rivalry, the latest, which took another dimension occasioned by the alleged attacks on the military personnel.

 Local sources told Daily Trust by phone that the soldiers were said to be on routine patrol in parts of Konshisha and Oju LGAs at about 5:00 pm when the armed attackers seized them on account that they (soldiers) dismantled the illegal roadblocks mounted by the attackers.

 The local sources added that at least eight soldiers were taken away by the attackers who opened gunfire on the troop, stressing that the remaining soldiers fought back until a backup was later sent to aid them.

 At the time of this report, the local witnesses alleged that there were as many as over 15 trucks of troops sighted in the warring zone in search of their colleagues who were taken away.

 Daily Trust has not been able to independently verify the exact number of soldiers abducted and whether they have been found as neither the police nor military confirmed the incident.

 The spokesperson of the Benue Police Command, DSP Catherine Anene, said she was not aware of any missing soldiers and that the state has been peaceful since the weekend.

 On his part, the OPWS Force Commander, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, declined comment. (Text, excluding headline, courtesy Daily Trust)

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