From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Four suspected armed bandits said to be among those that have been terrorising the Sankera area of Benue State were on Saturday gunned down by men of the joint security task force codenamed “Operation Zenda”.
Sources from the area told reporters that the bandits, numbering over 20, had engaged the men of Operation Zenda in a gun battle during which four of them (bandits) fell to the superior firepower of the security operatives.
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Our source, who did not want to be named, listed the bandits killed in the encounter to include one Solo Orafaga, John Tyoakoso, Jude aka Headboy and another unidentified member of the gang.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the bodies of the deceased bandits were paraded at the State Police Headquarters in Makurdi on Saturday afternoon, Commander of Operation Zenda CSP Gberindyer Justin confirmed that the bandits were killed by his men during an operation in Ukum Local Government Area of the state.
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Gberindyer revealed that the bandits were ambushed after his men got intelligence information that they were on their way to attack a village called Gbagire in Ukum LGA.
‘Unknown to the bandits, all their calls were being tracked by the intelligence unit and were carefully followed up as they executed plans on how to attack the village,’ he said.
The Operation Zenda commander, who confirmed that the bandits who invaded the village were about 20 in number, said aside from those four bandits that were killed during the gun battle with his men, many others ran into the nearby bushes with bullet wounds.
He listed items recovered from them to include one AK-47 rifle, one G3 rifle, a locally made pistol and assorted charms and ammunitions.