Posted by News Express | 6 February 2016 | 2,235 times
Five military personnel deployed to checkmate pipeline vandals at Abule area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, were killed in the early hours of Friday as they engaged the vandals who were armed to the teeth.
A competent military source told Saturday Sun that the vandals in their hundreds had ambushed the military personnel on patrol at the Abule area killing all five in a fierce gun battle which lasted hours.
The source said the bodies of three of the five naval personnel have been recovered, alongside their arms while two others are still unaccounted for.
The source further told Saturday Sun that the daredevil criminals had launched a reprisal attack on the security agents who dislodged them on Wednesday.
Security operatives had stormed the area at the wee hours of Wednesday following a tip off that vandals had caused a pipeline explosion while siphoning fuel.
The source further revealed on condition of anonymity that the criminals, who had scooped a tanker load of PMS as well as jerrycans running into hundreds, engaged the operatives in a gun duel but we’re overpowered.
As a result of the exchange of gunfire, the tanker and other stolen products allegedly caught fire, while some of the vandals who survived were said to have retreated.
But the criminals, it was gathered, regrouped on Thursday night, started a fire and while the military operatives headed towards that direction to know the cause of the inferno, they were ambushed and killed.
Efforts to get official reaction from the security agencies failed as both the Army and Navy who have their operatives there under Operation Awatse failed to comment
Asked if it was true that only naval personnel were killed, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC) Rear Admiral Ralph Osondu said investigations were ongoing.
He said: “All I can tell you is that investigation is ongoing. I do not have the details and cannot tell you hearsay. I suggest you contact the DHQ because the operation is under them.
“All participating officers are personnel of the DHQ, they were drawn from other services and so, I cannot tell you whether it was navy, army, Air Force or police. Only the DHQ can authoritatively comment on this.” (Saturday Sun)
•Photo shows Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin.
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