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4 Policemen Missing After Ambushed by Suspected Herdsmen in Benue


Despite the deployment of units of policemen in the troubled Benue State, there seems no end to the blood letting as suspected herdsmen were said to have ambushed a police patrol team in Logo Local Government Area on Saturday afternoon.
Four policemen are said to be missing as a result of the attack.
The officers were said to be returning from a confidence-building mission in remote villages when suspected herdsmen opened fire on them in Tse Akpam village, near Azege town, Benue Police Command confirmed.
“We had an encounter around Azege when a team of mobile police went on confidence patrol,” said State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni.
He stated further: “When they were coming back at a point in Azege, they started hearing gunfire from inside the bush suspected to be from the herdsmen.There was a serious exchange of gunfire.”
Owoseni said the attackers burnt a police van and four officers could not be found as at 7:20 p.m. Saturday.
He said police officer who sustained gunshot injury was taken to the hospital in Ayilamo, the headquarters of Tombo Council Ward about eight kilometres from Azege where the attack occurred.
“One of our vehicles was set ablaze. So far, on their side, we are still trying to ascertain casualties; while we are yet to see four of our men,” he said.
He said more officers have been dispatched to the areas to comb for the missing officers.
The attack comes a day after three persons were killed in separate assaults on villages in the same local government area Thursday night.
Three persons who sustained injuries in the attacks are currently undergoing treatments at the hospital.
The Thursday night attack occurred near Anyiin, a town in Logo Local Government Area that serves as a base for police special forces.
Owoseni said Saturday’s attack should be seen as an evidence of police’s proactive approach towards the crisis.
“People are saying police are not working, but going on confidence-building patrol is being proactive,” Owoseni said.
“If we didn’t go on patrol, how would we have suffered this attack?”
The Commissioner said Azege and its environs are safe, urging the residents to believe in the ability of police to return peace to the entire state.
“We will not relent, we will continue to take the fight to them and give assurances to the people that we won’t wait until they come and attack them,” he said.

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