Family Mourns As Bandits Kill Captain, Six Soldiers in Nasarawa

No fewer than seven Nigerian soldiers were reportedly killed by bandits during a rescue operation in a forest along Mararaba-Udege road in Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The unfortunate incident occurred on Monday.

The soldiers, who were killed in an ambush by the bandits, were from the 177 Guards Battalion, Shitu Alao Barracks, Keffi, Nasarawa State.

Investigation reveals that the slain soldiers were part of a team of 13 soldiers led into the forest by Felix Kura, a captain.

The soldiers’ mission, the source claimed, was to rescue some residents of the state who were kidnapped by bandits and taken into the forest.

Out of the 14 military men, it was gathered that seven soldiers, including Mr Kura; Yakubu Bati, a sergeant; Kefas Iliya, a lance corporal, and four others whose identity could not be confirmed as of the time of filing this report, lost their lives.

A source, who did want his name to be mentioned, said that, “As soon as they ran into the ambush and they realised they were being overpowered, Mr Kura was said to have told his colleagues, including his “cover”, to escape.”

The authorities of the 177 Guards Battalion informed the families of the slain soldiers of their fate “and signal has been sent to the headquarters”.

But the spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, Sagir Musa, a Brigadier General, denied knowledge of the development.

“I am not aware. I don’t have that information,” Musa told The Punch reporter on the phone on Thursday.

Also, the Commandant, 4 Special Force Command in Doma LGA of the state, Major general Moundhey Ali, and the Commanding Officer, 177 Guards Battalion, Nigerian Army, Keffi, Lt. Col. M.M. Aliyu could not be reach as text messages to their mobile phones were not replied as of the time of sending this report.

Meanwhile, Fabian Benjamin, an elder brother to the late Mr Kura, however, confirmed the incident to The Punch on the phone.

A distraught Benjamin feared that the family was scared to break the news to their septuagenarian father, Benjamin Kura, whom he said might not be strong enough to withstand the shock of the sad news.

He said his late brother’s remains would be interred on Tuesday in his home state, Benue.

Apart from the aged father, Benjamin, the family’s eldest child, also expressed sadness over the fate of his late brother’s young wife, Susan, whom he noted was yet to bear him a child.

He said the late officer was just decorated as a captain in August, 2020.

The Punch

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