Gunmen kill army colonel in Benue

Some gunmen killed a senior military officer, who was on transit along the Katsina-Ala-Takum Expressway within Benue State on Sunday.

Sources 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 the Katsina-Ala-Takum Expressway.

It was gathered that some soldiers on Monday stormed Katsina Ala town in reprisal and allegedly burnt some houses in the town.

A resident of the area said, “As I am talking to you now, Katsina Ala is in ruins as soldiers invaded our town in reprisal for the killing of the colonel.

“The Katsina-Ala-Takum Expressway has been blocked as soldiers have been demanding that we produce the killers of the army officer.”

The state Governor, Samuel Ortom, who confirmed the killing of the colonel, said it was an armed robbery incident.

Ortom also denied the invasion and burning down of houses in Katsina Ala, saying 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. He was in uniform and coming from Lagos towards Tarkum.’

“The killing created a crisis in the area; we were told that the military men went after the perpetrators.”

“The case is being treated as an armed robbery case.”

The governor urged residents of the area to go about their business without fear, adding that he had sent his security adviser and the state security chiefs to the area.

The Benue State Police Command spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu, said he was not aware of the incident and referred our correspondent to the military.

Efforts to get the response of the Assistant Director, Army Information, 707 Special Force Makurdi, Major Olabisi Ayeni, were unsuccessful as his lines did not connect.