The Police in Benue State have confirmed the death of one of its personnel and two others after a gun battle between security operatives and the gang of wanted kingpin, Terwase Akwaza in Ukum Local Government Area of the state.

According to Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP. Moses Joel Yamu, said in a statement on Thursday that the command had received a report that at about 11:00am on Thursday, some armed Shitile militia known as “Ghana Boys” dressed in police mobile force and special forces uniforms were approaching Zaki Biam town through bush paths, riding on Bajaj motorcycles.

“It is important to note that, their movement was is in a bid to escape the ongoing joint operation tagged “Whirl Stroke” targeted at their enclaves which forced them out, to possibly seek refuge in the town,” Yamu stated.

Yamu added that the DPO of Ukum Division quickly alerted and mobilised the security forces around in order to repel the militia during which an intense gun duel ensued.

The police spokesman regretted that in the ensuing gun battle, one police man who was fatally injured and his rifle taken away by the militia was rushed to the hospital alongside two yet to be identified civilians (a woman and a child) were confirmed dead at the hospital.

He further stated that three other persons who sustained injuries are currently receiving treatment at Light of Grace Hospital in Zaki Biam.

Yamu stressed that the Commissioner of Police, CP. Ene Okon had assured the general public, especially people of Ukum and environs that effort have been intensified to bring the criminal elements to justice.