Gunmen killed 10 soldiers and an officer in Benue State, the Nigerian Army said on Friday.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack but Benue is part of the middle belt region, where gangs have taken up arms after years of communal clashes between herders and farmers.
“Nigerian Army troops operating in Benue State came under attack while on routine operational task,” army spokesman Mohammed Yerima said in a statement, which gave no details of the time of the incident.
General Yerima further stated that 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.
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.
The army said efforts are ongoing to track down the perpetrators of the heinous crime with a view to bringing them to justice.
Last month, Benue state governor Samuel Ortom said he had escaped an attack by armed herders while travelling in a convoy.
Deadly clashes between nomadic Fulani herders and farmers over land, grazing, and water have plagued central parts of the country for years.
Nigeria’s security forces are battling on several fronts — a more than decade-long jihadist insurgency in the northeast, criminal gangs in the northwest, and a separatist militia in the southeast.