Posted by News Express | 26 October 2014 | 3,064 times
Dare-devil gunmen suspected to be sea pirates at the weekend carried out attacks on barges and boats along the Nembe waterways in Bayelsa, abducting six oil workers and four policemen.
The pirates also dispossessed the policemen of a gunboat and made away with the arms onboard.
The attacks, according to eye witness accounts, occurred separately on Friday, causing fear and tension amongst coastal communities and boat operators as the security sources appeared helpless and defeated.
The police gunboat was escorting a barge operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) when it was attacked.
The pirates, who operated in a speedboat, had ambushed the gunboat and suddenly opened fire on the policemen. The pirates overpowered the police and later took control of the gunboat between Santa Barbara and Nembe waterways in Bayelsa. The three police escorts and the boat operator were all kidnapped.
A source in the Joint Task Force said the Agip barge and its occupants were not the target rather the gunboat. “The barge and its occupants escaped because the gunboat was the target of the pirates. “This incident happened along Santa Barbara and Nembe route at about 1:30 p.m. The pirates were after the gunboat and the police arms,” the security source said
In a separate incident, also on Friday, six personnel aboard a boat of an oil services company, Icon Xearex, were abducted at Oluasiri in Nembe axis of Bayelsa.
“Six persons were abducted from the boat belonging to that company,” the source said.
Contacted for comments, Police Spokesman Alex Akhigbe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said he was on official duty in Abuja and unaware of developments in Bayelsa, while the Police Commissioner, CP Valentine Ntomchukwu, said he was in a meeting.
•Photo shows Bayelsa Police Commissioner, CP Valentine Ntomchukwu.
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