It was a sad day for the military as the Nigerian Army lost an officer and three soldiers to a landmine and an ambush by the Boko Haram in Borno State on Sunday.
Also, there was pandemonium in Vingir, a town in Kastina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State, on Monday, when unknown gunmen shot dead a traditional ruler, Chief Awuhe Alev, in his residence.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in a late night statement on Sunday that 16 soldiers and three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force were also wounded when the troops encountered the landmine between Miyanti and Dareljamal in Borno State.
He said that the troops were on an administrative patrol from Maiduguri when they drove into the landmine and the ambush set by the insurgents.
The Army spokesman said that the wounded soldiers and their Civilian JTF counterparts had been receiving medical attention and were in a stable condition.
Usman said that the troops cleared the insurgents’ ambush and killed three of them.
According to him, the troops also recovered ‘a machine gun, one AK-47 rifle and some quantity of ammunition’ from the insurgents.
He added that two vehicles which had the encounter with the Improvised Explosive Device were badly damaged.
He said, “Today, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole on administration patrol from Maiduguri encountered an Improvised Explosive Device and an ambush between Miyanti and Dareljamal, Borno State.
“The ambush was cleared and three Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops. They also recovered a machine gun, an AK-47 rifle and some quantity of ammunition.
“Unfortunately, we lost an officer and three soldiers, while 16 soldiers and three Civilian JTF members sustained injuries during the encounter. Similarly, two vehicles that encountered the IED were badly damaged.
“The wounded have since been evacuated and are in stable condition.”
Confirming the monarch’s killing to the News Agency of Nigeria in Makurdi on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Moses Yamu, said unknown gunmen invaded the traditional ruler’s house in Vingir on Sunday night and shot him dead.
He said the police had yet to discover the motive for the killing, but added that investigations into the murder were in top gear. He assured the people that the culprits would soon be arrested.
The police spokesman said additional policemen had been deployed to the area to maintain law and order. He appealed to members of the public with useful information that might lead to the arrest of the culprits to volunteer them to security agencies.
Meanwhile, NAN reported that a village in Mbayongo had recently been under siege from security operatives in search of Mr. Terwase Akwaza, Governor Samuel Ortom’s former aide, who had been accused of killing, kidnapping and cattle rustling.
Yamu said that more police men have been deployed to the area while investigation has already commenced with a view to arresting the perpetrators.
Katsina-Ala had witnessed several robbery incidents as a result of a recent pronouncement by the state government, declaring the notorious criminal, Terwase Akwaza, alias ‘Ghana’, wanted.
Some weeks ago, soldiers had invaded Gbise in search of ‘Ghana’ and when they could not find him, they destroyed several of his property including a school.