Bandits on Tuesday ambushed a group of Nigerian troops on a reinforcement mission to end communal clashes in Benue State and carted away military hardware with about N28 million cash, Peoples Gazette reports.
The news platform reported that a source disclosed that military officers dispatched from Katsina-Ala Local Government Area to deliver weapons to troops in Oju LGA (171km from Katsina-Ala) were overrun by an armed militia said to be from the Konshisha district of the state.
Senior military officers that spoke on the incident noted that the troops were with N28 million at the time of the incident, all of which was carted away.
“Yes, the bandits stole weapons and also about N28 million from the soldiers,” the senior officer said.
“The entire situation has been under investigation since the headquarters heard about it.”
The official further stated that no conspiracy was suspected on the part of the soldiers but said it was a “deeply disturbing” situation that soldiers could be easily waylaid by a ragtag group of bandits.
The source of the money and its purpose were however not immediately disclosed.
The logistics team, led by A.T. Adedayo, an army captain was reported missing, including a general-purpose machine gun and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
Sources said the ambush site was met deserted when a reinforcement deployed at Oju stormed the scene following an alert.
A joint operation by troops of 72 Special Forces Battalion and anti-banditry formation, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), was planned to be conducted in the area to rescue the missing soldiers, a source said.