Army destroys Edo militant camps, arrests seven suspects

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Alexander Okere, Benin

The 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Edo State, on Wednesday said it had arrested seven suspected militants in Benin, the state capital.

It explained that the suspects were arrested during a joint operation with other security agencies in the Ekehuan area of the state.

The spokesman for the brigade, Capt. Mohammed Maidawa, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, noted that a militant camp was also destroyed during the operation.

“During preliminary investigation, three of the suspects confessed to being ex-militants of the militant camp,” the statement added.

The army further stated that another militant camp was destroyed at Ubaogolo creek, off Benin River, during which several items such as ammunition, charms and military uniforms were recovered.

Meanwhile, the army denied reports that its personnel invaded Ajakurama community in the Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the state on the invitation of an ex-militant, identified as Ejuene Peres.

It described the allegation as malicious and unfounded.

It explained that it received “credible intelligence that a concentration of militant camps had been established in the community as a result of an onslaught by troops of the Operation Crocodile Smile.

“Following this discovery, a cordon and search operation was conducted in the area.”

During the operation, a militant camp, including two buildings belonging to one Felix Idowu, a militant leader, was reportedly destroyed by the troops.

“The troops also cordoned off and searched a building and a shrine belonging to one Mr. Godwin Namu, who was alleged to be fortifying suspected militants with charms,” the statement added.

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