NASARAWA – Just days into the military operation in the state, the security forces on Thursday, April 3, 2014 recorded a major victory when they flushed out and killed over 30 Fulani insurgents in Keana Local Government Area after a fierce gun battle.
Nasarawa as well as Benue states have, in recent times, been under attacks that have claimed over 200 lives and displaced thousands of residents, necessitating the recent deployment of the armed forces to the states.
The military was said to have acted on a tip-off on the insurgents’ hideouts in Maraba Giza and Tse-Azer.
This Day reports:
In Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, dead Fulani insurgents numbering 10 were brought to the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital by a police pickup van and deposited at the mortuary, while about 20 others were deposited at the General Hospital, Keana.
This was apart from several other dead suspected insurgents whose bodies had not been moved from the bush to mortuaries in the state.
The military was said to have acted on a tipoff on the insurgents’ hideouts in Maraba Giza and Tse-Azer, where they had taken over the ancestral homes of the Tivs in the areas, and launched an offensive on the terrorists.
It was further gathered that sophisticated weapons were recovered by the military from the insurgents who were taken unawares by the attack from the security forces.
Residents of Keana said the military had taken over the town with about four armoured tanks that had been strategically positioned in order to ensure that the insurgents had no escape routes.
An eyewitness who preferred not to be named, said: “The military killed the insurgents and were able to recover plenty of rifles from them,” adding that there had been allegations in the past of terrorists being camped in some parts of the state under the guise of being international hunters and wondered whether there were wild animals that warranted the presence of international hunters.
“This part of the state has received and seen strange Fulani faces more than any time in the history of our existence in Keana and its environs and we wondered where they came from, because they are not the normal Fulanis that we know,” he revealed.
The eyewitness added that most of these “Fulanis that we see don’t even have cows and one often wondered what their occupations were as well as mission in the state”.
A military official also confirmed that the so-called Fulani “hunters” or “herdsmen” had taken over entire villages in Benue and Nasarawa States, raping children and women, and killing men at will.