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In Benue Army arrests 18 herdsmen for destruction

The army has handed all the suspects over to the police for further action.

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Army arrests 18 herdsmen for destruction in Benue play

Herdsmen arrested for destroying farmlands in Benue State

(Nigerian Army)

Soldiers of the Nigerian Army arrested 18 herdsmen in several communities in Benue State for engaging in the destruction of farmlands on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

According to a statement signed by Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, on Sunday, March 18, 6 suspects were caught in the act in Kwata Sule and were arrested, while another two got away in the general area of Chembe, Tse-Gundu, Tse-Iordye and Sbaor settlements.

The statement read, "Troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade have arrested 6 herdsmen, caught in the act of farmland destruction. Troops while on patrol in the general area of Kwata Sule on 17 March 18 encountered the herdsmen in the act prompting their arrest. After initial interrogation, the suspects were handed over to the police for further action.

"Similarly, troops on patrol in the general area of Chembe, Tse-Gundu, Tse-Iordye and Sbaor settlements sighted two herdsmen on motorcycle along Kwata Shaor river bank.

"Herdsmen abandoned their motorcycle and fled. On search of the general area, one round of 7.62mm special was discovered. Troops continue to dominate the general area with patrols."

In another statement later released by Brig-Gen Chukwu, another group of 12 herdsmen were arrested while engaged in destructive activities on farmlands in Mbayer/Yandez and Kaambee wards of Benue, also on Saturday, March 17.

On search of the general area, two motorcycles were recovered from the suspects who have also been handed over to the police for further action.

Benue's herdsmen crisis

Benue has been troubled by violent killings this year as a spate of attacks by suspected cattle herders have led to the death of over 100 victims.

At least 24 people were killed during a recent attack carried out on March 5 by herdsmen in Omusu Edimoga, a village in Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state.

The bodies of 73 men, women and children were buried at a mass burial ceremony organised by the state government on January 11 after several attacks by cattle herders.

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