The command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Moses Yamu, confirmed this in a statement in Makurdi.
He said that the deceased policeman and the two others were confirmed dead at the hospital following gunshot injuries from the gun duel.
Yamu stated that three other persons who sustained injuries in the incident were receiving treatment at Light of Grace Hospital in Zaki Biam.
“Shitte militia dressed in PMF and Special Forces uniforms rode into Zaki Biam town through bush paths on Bajaj motorcycle believed to be running away from Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) Force for safety.
“The Gana boys were forced out of their enclave by OPWS Forces and they were running into the town for refuge.
“The DPO of Ukum Division quickly alerted and mobilised the security forces around in order to repel the militia.
“An intense gun duel ensued in which regrettably, one policeman, who was fatally injured and his rifle taken away by the militia was rushed to the hospital alongside two yet-to-be-identified civilians.
“The civilians, a woman and a small boy, were confirmed dead at the hospital, and three other persons who sustained injuries are currently receiving treatment at Light of Grace Hospital, Zaki Biam,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ene Okon, assured the public, especially people of Ukum and environs that effort had been intensified to bring the criminal elements to justice.
Less than 24 hours after two Catholic priests and 17 worshippers were killed by suspected herdsmen at Mbalom in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State in April, the marauders launched fresh coordinated attacks on three communities in Guma Local Government Area of the state, killing no fewer than 39 persons.
Several persons also sustained injuries, with over 160 houses, huts and farmlands in the communities razed.
In June, herdsmen in an early hour attack, invaded Tseadough village in Mbachom, Yaav Ward of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State, killing seven persons including
women and children, while a
pregnant woman was taken hostage.
In the attack that left many injured, several houses and farmland in the village were destroyed. This is just as six persons were confirmed dead in a cult clash in Otukpo, headquarters of Otukpo Local Government Area of the state