Federal Nigerian troops have consolidated their renewed hold on the city of Benin, capital of Nigeria's Mid West Region, which late last week was retaken by Federal troops after a month in the hands of troops of the secessionist Eastern Region.
Federal troops guarding Benin radio station; Ibo tribesmen held prisoner; women celebrating (Natural Sound).
EDITORS: THIS FILM HAS NATURAL SOUND
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Background: Federal Nigerian troops have consolidated their renewed hold on the city of Benin, capital of Nigeria's Mid West Region, which late last week was retaken by Federal troops after a month in the hands of troops of the secessionist Eastern Region.
The Federal forces met with some resistance during their advance into the city. The attack took place only shortly after the Mid West region had declared itself a republic, and offered to support Eastern Nigeria, now calling itself Biafra.
The occupying Federal forces have occupied strategic points within Benin, including the radio station.
During the past few days more than 300 Ibo tribesmen have been detained for what Federal troops call 'security reasons'. All the detainees live in Benin, and being held as suspected supporters of the secessionists. They are being held at a military barracks in the Mid West region capital. Among the detainees are reported to be a number of Eastern region troops, captured during the fight for the city. One report said a number of Ibo tribesmen have been killed.
It is reported that the reoccupation of Benin has been accompanied by public rejoicing and religious thanksgiving services. Women in the city have been dancing and singing in the streets, calling for Nigeria to be united again.
The city has been placed under military administration, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Ogbemudia, who now has the task of restoring order and getting the life of the city back to something like normal.