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"Soldiers" Leave Death  in Their Wake (Posted 27th Oct, 2001) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

Political tension rose to unprecedented heights in Benue state, in Nigeria's middle belt area when people believed to be soldiers invaded four Benue villages - Vaase, Gbesir, Anyiim, Iorja a few days ago. The are believed to have been carrying out a reprisal attack on the Tiv people for the murder of twenty soldiers who were killed and their bodies mutilated by Tiv militia men about a fortnight ago. The soldiers had been abducted on October 11, in a Tiv suburb while their mutilated bodies were found few days later at a primary school in Zakbiya area of Benue state. The soldiers were among the contingent of soldiers from the 23rd Armoured battalion of the Nigerian Army based in neighbouring Yola town, deployed to keep the peace between warring Tiv and Jukun/Fulani tribes in the area.

Reports say over 200 people may have been killed in the reprisal attack by the Nigeria Army. The attack is also coming a day after President Olusegun Obasanjo had vowed to track down and bring to justice the killers of the twenty soldiers during the burial ceremony for them at the National military cemetery in Abuja . The slain soldiers include a captain Mustapha Abdul who had served in Nigeria's ECOMOG peace keeping forces in Sierra Leone. Soldiers from the Makurdi-based 72 battalion of the Army are believed to have carried out the reprisal attacks.

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