Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke on Wednesday engaged suspected gunmen in a fierce gun battle at Abaji in Shitile axis of Katsina Ala local government area of Benue state.
The gun battle lead to the death of four persons with several people injured, sources said.
The troops were said to have recovered one AK-47 rifle and several ammunition during the encounter with the suspected bandits.
Some gunmen in military uniform had stormed a market on motorcycles and started shooting indiscriminately leading to the death of two people and many others injured.
Local government chairman Alfred Atera said the bandits, who are suspected to be loyal to warlord, Terwase Akwaza aka Gana, rode into the market on motorcyclles between 4pm and 5pm on Wednesday.
“The gunmen camouflaged in military uniform and I think why they do that is because there is a curfew in this area and only security men are allowed to ride on motorcycles,” he said.
“So, they camouflaged in army uniform and rode on motorcycles into Abaji market between 4pm and 5pm and started shooting sporadically.
“But troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, who were on patrol of the area, were quickly alerted and they responded to a distress call and repelled the gunmen.”
“The troops overpowered the bandits with superior firepower, following which two of the bandits were eliminated by the troops while others escaped with gunshot wounds,” a military source said.
“One of the troops was injured during the encounter.”