The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday said troops eliminated 36 militia herdsmen at the weekend in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara states.
Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) has begun in the two states.
A statement by Acting Director of Defence Information Brig.-Gen. John Agim said a soldier was killed and two others injured.
They have, however, been treated and discharged from hospital.
Gen. Agim said eight bandits were arrested and handed over to officials of the Department of State Sevices (DSS) in Taraba State, adding that arms were recovered from the militia gang.
The statement reads: “Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara States, conducted a four prong clearance operations at the weekend. At Umaisha and Toto villages of Nasarawa State, troops ambushed the militia following a tip off.
“In the ensuing melee, 1xG3 rifle; 193×17.62 mm NATO; 81xG3 rifle ammunition; a locally-made pistol and a FN magazine were recovered. One militia was killed.
“A suspected herdsman, Adamu Abdullahi, was arrested at Rukubi, Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. He was in possession of an ID card of the Vigilance Group of Nigeria, Nasarawa State Command, and a photograph where he posed with an AK-47 rifle.
“The suspect is being interrogated and will be handed over to the police thereafter
“Similarly, clearance operations across Gwer West, Logo and Guma councils of Benue State was conducted at the weekend. Troops made contact with armed herdsmen around lower Benue and a militia camp at Chetarer village.
“The troops engaged the militia and followed the pursuit with M135 Helicopter of their air component. This led to a many of them being neutralised.
“In all, 35 herdsmen were neutralised and many of them escaped with injuries.
“However, a soldier was killed in action (KIA), two sustained injuries but have been treated and discharged. Also, one soldier is still missing in action.
“Musa Habu (32) was also arrested at Kolo, Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Items recovered from him include one-locally made pistol; 2xcartridges; a mobile phone and N130 cash.
“Preliminary investigation showed that the suspect is linked with some suspected militia in that locality. He has been handed over to the DSS for necessary action.
“Troops of OPWS sector 3 Taraba, on patrol through Kwesati, Manya-Garagun axis, made contact with eight bandits who were arrested and armed with two AK-47 rifles; 1xK2 rifle and 2 x locally-made guns.
“Ammunition recovered from them include 56 rounds of 7.6mm, 25 rounds of k2, 3x cartridge, charms, and phones, among others. The suspects and items will be handed over to DSS for further investigation.”
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