Soldiers of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) at the weekend allegedly killed five bandits, who invaded three different villages of Guma Local Government Area in Benue State.
Witnesses said the neutralised gunmen were part of the attackers who had invaded three villages of Torkula, Kponko and Kaseyo all in Mbadwem council ward of Guma LGA.
First News reports that Chairman of Guma Local Government, Anthony Shawon, had earlier on Friday cried out that some invaders were attacking Torkula village about noon with dangerous weapons.
A villager said that 12 people were killed during the attack on the three villages before the soldiers pursued and killed the five bandits.
But another villager claimed one person was killed in the attack while two others were injured but later died at the hospital, bringing the total number of deaths to three.
The villager, however, added that the troops of the OPWS repelled further attacks as they swiftly trailed the invaders into the bush and killed three of them after a gun battle.
OPWS Force Commander, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, declined to comment, referring First News correspondent to the Defence HeadQuarters Information Directorate.
But Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident, adding that the Command had yet to ascertain the number of casualties as at the time of this report.
She stated that the intervention of the joint military troops averted further attack in the affected areas.