The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has withdrawn the police Special Forces from Benue communities.

This is barely five weeks after he deployed them to keep order and security in the wake of a string of deadly attacks linked to suspected herdsmen.

Several security sources in Benue said on Saturday that Idris quietly took the decision last week, even as villagers continued to report sporadic attacks on their communities.

The officers were removed on February 14 from Logo and Guma Local Government Areas, where scores, including security agents, have been killed in suspected herdsmen attacks since January 1. They were taken to police rank and file mess in Makurdi, the state capital.

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Their withdrawal came two days after three security agents, comprising a policeman and two Civil Defence officers, were confirmed killed and two others declared missing in suspected herdsmen attacks across the two local government areas.

The state police commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, said the withdrawal was strategic and warned against reporting police operation at a time of crisis.

The special forces are amongst about 96 regular officers sent to Belarus in 2014 to receive training as snipers, rocket-propelled grenade experts, rangers, bomb disposal technicians, amongst others.


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