Bandits ambush army convoy in Benue, taking 28 million in cash and weapons
Military sources reported that bandits who ambushed a select group of Nigerian forces on a reinforcement mission to quell the hotbeds of general fighting in Benue State, military sources said, told the Peoples Gazette.
Citing internal army correspondence, a source told The Gazette that soldiers sent from the local government district of Katsina-Al to deliver weapons to troops in Oja LGA (171 km from Katsina-Al) were captured by armed militias who allegedly came from in the Konshish area in an attack that allegedly took place on Tuesday.
There were also 28 million soldiers during the ambush, who said the attackers turned their backs on the wall and fled overnight on the banks of the Benue River.
“Yes, the bandits stole weapons, as well as about $ 28 million from the soldiers,” said the senior officer. “The whole situation has been investigated since the headquarters heard about it.”
The official said the soldiers were unaware of the conspiracy, but said it was a “very worrying” situation where a group of bandits could easily attack a soldier. The source of the money and its purpose were not immediately disclosed to Gazeta.
The logistics group, headed by the captain of the army A.T. Adedayo was reported missing, including a universal machine gun and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
Sources said the ambush site was abandoned when reinforcements deployed to Oju stormed the site following an alarm.
According to the source, a joint operation of the 72nd Special Forces Battalion and anti-bandit exercises is planned in the area – Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS).
An army official could not be reached for comment.
Armed militia groups continue to dominate the outlying areas of Benue, while the north-central state grapples with repeated joint clashes and riots between farmers and herders.