Soldiers have sacked six villages in the Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, killing six persons, including a pregnant woman.
This followed the killing of a soldier at the weekend by some youths in the area. But the Brigade Commander of the 707 Special Force, Brig. Clement Apere, denied that soldiers attacked the people.
“The operation we conducted in the area was carried out in a professional way,” he said.
However, sources from Agatu, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday, explained that six villages — Olegadakolo, Ikpele, Otugologwu, Iwali, Okpanchenyi and Egba — were sacked by the soldiers.
At Egba community, sources said a pregnant woman was hit by a stray bullet, adding that the six villages had been deserted.
“This is genocide on our people, as I’m talking to you now, six villages have been sacked, children and women have moved out of the affected villages, while many people have been arrested by the invading soldiers,” a resident of one of the villages, who pleaded anonymity said.
The council’s sole administrator, Mr. Mike Inalegwu, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, also denied the killing of people in Agatu communities but admitted the invasion of military personnel.
“There is no iota of truth in that, no one was killed, the military were only on the mission to recover their arms and ammunition,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference, the commander, 707 Special Forces Brigade, Brig. Gen. Clement Apere, said only one person was arrested.