Chairman, Konshisha Local Government Area, Benue State, Mr James Jirgba, yesterday, confirmed the attack on soldiers attached to the joint military operation codenamed Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, Monday evening.
He said the incident happened at a border community between Konshisha and Oju local government areas.
It was gathered that two soldiers attached to the joint military operation were feared missing after they were ambushed by suspected bandits at Bonta community, Konshisha Local Government Area, LGA of Benue State.
Some of the soldiers also sustained injuries in the attack.
It was gathered that the missing soldiers were part of the team on routine patrol in Konshisha and neighbouring Oju LGAs when they ran into the ambush by the bandits, who are known as Bonta boys.
According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, “the Bonta boys attacked the soldiers because they entered the community and removed the illegal roadblocks they mounted within the community.
“So when they saw the troops undertaking their routine patrols of the area on Monday at about 5 pm, they opened fire on them.
“The patrol team engaged the bandits in a gunfight and also quickly called for reinforcement but before their arrival, the gunmen fled with both sides sustaining injuries.
“The OPWS troops, who spent the night in the community, are currently on the trail of the bandits and are combing the entire community in search of the missing soldiers and the bandits.
“We believe the attack was carried out probably to intimidate the troops, who are doing a great job in the state.”
The OPWS Force Commander, Major-General Adeyemi Yekini, could not be reached on the phone and text messages sent to his phone were not responded to.