Posted by News Express | 31 August 2017 | 1,570 times
In what appears to be a resumption of hostilities, gunmen, suspected to be Niger Delta militants attacked and killed four soldiers and a civilian in Ekeremor waterways, Bayelsa State.
The armed militants reportedly laid ambush for the soldiers along the waterways of Letugbene, Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.
Community sources said on Wednesday that a team of soldiers returning from Letugbene community on Monday became victims of an ambush laid by armed militants.
It was gathered that the militants who outnumbered their target overpowered the soldiers, carted away their weapons and military hardware, moved them to a location in the creeks and shot them dead in cold blood, while one of the civilians, a boat driver escaped and jumped into the water before he was shot.
Mr. Tare Porri, a youth leader who confirmed the development, condemned the killing of the soldiers.
Porri, who is Chairman of the Central Zone of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), described the attack as “bizarre and unprovoked.”
Porri said the victims were killed in cold blood, adding that his zonal leadership would meet to discuss the issue and other problems affecting the zone.
He was however worried that the action of the suspected militants had pushed the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, to begin a military operation in Letugbene and Ebelabiri.
He said residents in the area accused the military of burning down houses and destroying property in the operation launched to fish out the killers of the soldiers.
“Two days ago, four military officers were killed in cold blood alongside a civilian. Military officers went to Letugbene community and on their way back, some persons accosted them and killed all of them.
“Only one of them escaped. Military, yesterday morning retaliated, invaded the communities and burnt down houses. The operations are still ongoing and it is spreading to other communities like Ebelabiri,” Porri said.
A senior security official and commander of one of the paramilitary outfits confirmed the murder of the soldiers, lamented the rising incidence of killing of security operatives, saying measures must be adopted to stop the ugly trend.
The security source, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authourised to speak on the devproperty, said: “Security operatives are now endangered species. It is unacceptable the way security officials deployed to Niger Delta are killed without provocation by people they dedicated their lives to protect.
“In Bayelsa, policemen, civil defenders and soldiers are constantly killed. It is barbaric.”.
Officials of the Joint Military task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe declined to respond to calls to their mobile phones and did not respond to text messages requesting for reaction on the o going operation.
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