The Nigerian Army says one officer and 10 soldiers have been killed in an attack on troops operating on a routine operational task in Benue State. The Defence Spokesman Mohammed Yeeima, in a statement on Thursday said.
PRESS RELEASE UNPROVOKED ATTACK ON TROOPS ON STABILISATION OPERATIONS IN BENUE STATE Nigerian Army (NA) troops operating in Benue State came under attack while on routine operational task. The troops comprising one officer and ten soldiers were initially declared missing which prompted the deployment of a joint search and rescue team comprising NA troops and personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke. The search and rescue team unfortunately found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately, efforts are ongoing to track down the perpetrators of this heinous crime with a view to bringing them to Justice. The NA under the leadership of the COAS Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru remains resolute in ensuring stability in Benue State as well as other parts of the country that are affected by the activities of criminal gangs. The NA remains determined to ensure that this unprovoked attack does not disrupt the general peace being enjoyed by the local inhabitants. The COAS has therefore directed commanders on the ground to ensure sustained efforts in order to fish out and deal decisively with these bad elements who are threatening the peace in the area. It may be recalled that Benue State which was a hot bed 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 NA appeal to the public to volunteer useful information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of this dastardly act. You are kindly requested to disseminate this information to the general public through your medium. Thank you for your usual cooperation.
Mohammed Yerima Brigadier General, Director Army Public Relations 8 April 2021
However the people of Konshisha LGA of Benue State gave their own account as thus-
BANDITS ATTACKED THE NIGERIAN MILITARY; KONSHISHA PEOPLE WERE FRAMED. Nigerian Soldiers were provoked by an attack on their convoy by armed bandits in the area, and since then have unleashed terror on the residents of the community. “The attention of the public has been drawn to the wanton destruction of lives and properties in no fewer than seven communities of Shangev-Tiev in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. “We are reliably informed that in the last 3 days, men of the Nigeria military under the ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’ have launched series of attacks on the unarmed civilian population in over 7 communities in Shangev-Tiev, killing over 70 people and displacing residents including children, women and the elderly. “The mayhem which was reportedly provoked by an attack on a military convoy by armed bandits who terrorize the area, has since witnessed a misplaced reprisal attack by soldiers with heavy gunfire on unarmed civilians around the area, using both aerial and ground troops to cause colossal destruction. “Although the bandits reportedly fled immediately after attacking the military convoy, the surrounding communities who needed help from the Nigeria military to get rid of the bandits, are the ones now paying with their lives and properties, to the extent of becoming displaced persons in their own state,”