Two people have been killed by bandits suspected to be herders in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
One of the deceased, a farmer whose name was given as Lanre, was said to have been abducted by the bandits earlier in a Government Forest Reserve located at Ago Sanusi along Ute Road in Owo.
His corpse was reportedly later found with his right and left hands cut off.
Following the development, operatives of the Amotekun Corps were mobilized and they stormed the forest to apprehend the killers of Lanre.
While combing the forest, the herdsmen were said to have laid ambush for the Amotekun personnel and shot a vigilante member who had joined the search. He reportedly died instantly.
The bandits also set ablaze the patrol van of the corps with other operatives scampering for safety.
According to one of the Amotekun corps operatives who survived the attack, the Fulani herdsmen were heavily armed with sophisticated weapons like AK 47 and dressed like militiaman men, with live ammunition wrapped around their bodies.
The operative who craved anonymity added that the head of operations of Amotekun security outfit in Owo, identified as Oluwasesan Adebayo who led the operation had not been found and his whereabouts unknown.
Confirming the incident, the Corps Commander in the state, Adetunji Adeleye who described the bandits as a cartel, said they were piling up arms and ammunition to invade the entire state.
Adetunji added that “while masquerading as herders, they were using the forest as kidnappers den for negotiation and ransom, illegal mining activities and cultivation of Indian hemp.
“The Security outfits in conjunction with the Police, the Army and other security agencies in the State, however, smoked them out of the forest, after it was discovered that the bandits had killed a farmer and a member of the vigilante group in the Area.
“They also went to the village where an Amotekun vehicle was parked and set it ablaze.
“We sympathize with the families of the victims of this dastardly act while assuring them that the culprits will surely be apprehended.”