At least 11 soldiers have been killed by gunmen after troops came under attack while on a routine operational task in Konshisha LGA of Benue state.

According to a statement on Thursday night by the Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, the troops were initially declared missing but their bodies were later found by a search and rescue team in Konshisha Local Government Area of the state.

The statement titled, ‘Unprovoked attack on troops on stabilization operations in Benue State,’ said, “Nigerian Army troops operating in Benue State came under attack while on routine operational task.

“The troops comprising one officer and ten soldiers were initially declared missing which prompted the deployment of a joint search and rescue team comprising NA troops and personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke,” Yerima said.

“The search and rescue team unfortunately found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately, efforts are ongoing to track down the perpetrators of this heinous crime with a view to bringing them to Justice.

“It may be recalled that Benue State which was a hot bed for violent clashes has been enjoying relative peace following the successes achieved by the various security agencies who have been working tirelessly to safeguard law abiding citizens and ensure they go about their legitimate business without fear of harassment by criminals.

Yerima said the army under the leadership of Ibrahim Attahiru, chief of army staff, is determined to ensure that peace is maintained in the state and other parts of the country affected by criminal activities.

In the past weeks, there has been a series of attacks by gunmen on security personnel across the country.

It further said the NA was determined to ensure that the unprovoked attack did not disrupt the general peace being enjoyed by the residents.

Yerima said the COAS has directed commanders on the ground to ensure sustained efforts in order to fish out and deal decisively with “these bad elements who are threatening the peace in the area.”

The NA appealed to the public to volunteer useful information that could lead to the arrest of the attackers.