Suspected gunmen on Sunday allegedly killed a senior military officer who was said to be in transit along Katsina Ala/Takum highway in Benue State.
A source in the area told our correspondent that the military officer, who was coming from Lagos and travelling to Takum in Taraba State, was killed at Sattii Agrigi along Katsina Ala/Takum highway.
Locals told our correspondent that some soldiers in the wee hours of Monday stormed Katsina Ala town in reprisal attack and burnt down some houses in the town.
According to the local, “as am talking to you now, Katsina-Ala is in ruins as soldiers invaded Katsina Ala town in reprisal attack of the killing of a Colonel at Satti Agirigi along Katsina Ala Sunday morning by suspected gunmen”.
“Already, the Katsina Ala- Takum highway has been blocked as soldiers were asking of the killers of the army officer”, the local added.
Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed the killing of a Colonel in Katsina-Ala axis Sunday morning. He, however, said it was an armed robbery incident.
Ortom also denied that soldiers invaded and set ablaze houses in Katsina-Ala, stressing that if anything of such happened it was the handiwork of miscreants.
Ortom said, “I was told of the killing of a Colonel in Katsina-Ala yesterday. He was in uniform and coming from Lagos towards Takum.
“That created some crisis around the area, we were told the military men in the area went after the perpetrators. It is not so, but the mischief makers tried to cash in on the matter.
“We are on top of the situation. The case has been treated as armed robbery case.”
The governor urged people along that axis to go about their business without fear, adding that he had dispatched his security adviser along with security chiefs in the state to the area to beef up security.
“I have sent my security adviser alongside quick rapid response comprising the military, Police Commissioner and NSCDC to the area and the perpetrators will be brought to book.”
When contacted by phone, Benue State Command spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu, said he was not aware but referred our correspondent to the military.
Efforts to get the response of Assistant Director Army Information, 707 Special Force, Makurdi, Major Olabisi Ayeni were not successful as he could not be reached on phone.