4 die as troops, militants battle in Niger Delta

Posted by Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa | 9 June 2018 | 2,364 times

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Four people have been confirmed dead in a gun battle between troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (ODS) and suspected militants in Oluasiri community in Nembe local government area of Bayelsa state.

Already there is palpable tension in the area as the people of Oluasiri have cried out over what they called the invasion of the community and killing of its people by the military between Thursday and Friday.

Sources in the community said a six-month-old baby, her mother and two others were confirmed dead after the security operation conducted by armed soldiers against suspected militants in Oluasiri. Names of the identified victims include Mr. Wilson Patason, Madam Beauty Christian Gamage and her six months old baby while many others were also confirmed to be in critical condition with various degrees of injuries.
Security sources explained that the operation was launched to dislodge suspected militants and sea pirates hiding in the community but the military troops were attacked by the suspected militants leading to a gun duel.

A community source stated that some suspected sea pirates and militants had forcefully been residing within the community and some people had to invite the military to dislodge them

“The armed militants were residing in the community forcefully. They had become lawless and this may have caused the security operations. But as you know, these boys also pay some military men and may have been tipped off by some of their military friends. They had left the community before soldiers arrived. The soldiers arrived in six gunboats and started shooting indiscriminately. It is sad and unprofessional. “

The Oluasiri community in a statement described as “reckless and nefarious” the wanton invasion of Ben-Ama and Tengele-Ama by the military. The statement jointly signed by the President of Oluasiri Development Union, Deacon Gamage Difurotogu, and the President of Oluasiri Youth Federation, Kienworio Tanga said the people of Oluasiri called on the Federal Government and Civil Liberty Organisations to carry out an investigation in order to unravel the mystery behind the ugly incident.

The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) through its Bayelsa Chapter Chairman, Chief Nengi James condemned the military invasion describing it as barbaric and unprofessional. The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, through its President, Eric Omare condemned the invasion under the guise of looking for suspected criminals.

The IYC called on the military authorities to comply with the rules of engagement in their operations in the Niger Delta. The spokesman of the ODS, Major Ibrahim Abdullahi in an interview dismissed the claims that the military invaded the community.

According to him, the ODS had intelligence reports that criminal bandits were hiding in the community and in line with its mandate to protect oil facilities in the Niger Delta and rid it of criminal gangs it went to the community.

“We had intelligence reports that some criminal bandits were hiding in the community and in line with the mandate of the ODS we went there only to be attacked by the criminals. However, due to the superior firepower of ODS troops, we overpowered them and we were able to recover arms and ammunition”. (Saturday Sun)


Source: News Express

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