Panic As Bandits Kill Soldiers On Peacekeeping Mission

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In the wake of the suspected murders of three Nigerian Army soldiers and two vigilantes by bandits who stormed the Toto Local Government Area on Tuesday, there is obvious fear in the Katapka community in Nasarawa State.

Three people were killed and millions of naira’s worth of property was destroyed by unidentified gunmen on February 1, 2024, in the Katapka and Okudu settlements. This caused the Nigerian Army to send troops to the area to maintain peace and order.

Our correspondent, however, gathered that while the military personnel were making efforts towards restoring normalcy in the area, the bandits launched an attack on them on Tuesday afternoon which led to the death of three soldiers and two vigilantes.

Speaking on the incident via telephone with our correspondent in Lafia on Wednesday, the Chairman of Toto LGA, Abdullahi Aliyu-Tashas, described the killing of the soldiers as unfortunate.

He said, “The suspected bandits laid ambush on the military personnel who were on patrol to maintain law and order in the area and killed three of them.

“Katakpa community had been recently attacked, and as a result of that, the soldiers were drafted to Katakpa to maintain law and order, but they were unfortunately killed in an ambush on Tuesday afternoon.”

The council chairman further narrated that the state government had taken over the matter and was making efforts towards handling the situation, adding that more security operatives had been deployed to the area in order to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

Meanwhile, an ethnic group in the area, the Bassa Cultural Development Union, has called on the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, to, as a matter of urgency, fish out those behind the attacks on the Katakpa community in the Umaisha District of Toto LGA which led to the recent killings in the area.

The group made the call in a statement by its chairman, Emmanuel Gbaji, on Wednesday.

“We, the Bassa community of Nasarawa State, have barely recovered from the shock of the attack on Okudu village when we received news of the attack on Katapka vIllage. The unfortunate event came with the loss of three lives and wanton destruction of property.

“We want to call on His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. A.A. Sule, as the chief security officer of the state to use his good office to fish out the perpetrators of these criminal attacks so that peace can return to the Toto Local Government Area.

“We want to send our deep condolences to the families and relatives of the victims, and we ask God to give them the fortitude to bear their loss. We are deeply pained by their loss and we pray that God would comfort them,” the group said.

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