Troops Kill Suspected Militant, Recover Arms in Bayelsa

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Nigerian Army wednesday said its troops have killed a suspected militant implicated in the killing of two Nigerian soldiers and arrested suspected sea pirates who kidnapped an expatriate along the Ogbia-Nembe Road, Bayelsa State on Tuesday.

A statement signed by Col. Isa Ado, spokesman of the Joint Taskforce fighting criminalities in the Niger Delta, noted that troops of the Operation Pulo Shield during a manhunt for the suspected criminals on the same day along Soku Gas plant, were engaged in an exchange of gunfire with some suspected militants.

The army noted that one suspect was killed during the operation, many were wounded, while three suspects, who claimed to be victims of the pirates attack were arrested.

Equipment recovered from the criminals during the encounter, according to the military, included two AK 47 automatic assault rifles and 10 magazine loaded with 7.62mm special ammunition.
“Troops had dominated the creeks and land trotting highly intensified in its efforts to rescue the abducted expatriate and apprehend the kidnappers.

“The command wish to use this medium to call on good people of the region to come up with reliable information that will lead to the arrest of the fleeing suspects while assuring the region the determination of Operation Pulo Shield to flush out all illegal activities in the Niger Delta,’’ Ado said.

The command enjoined the people to go on with their legitimate activities as the Joint Force was ‘’on top’’ of the situation.

On April 5, suspected sea pirates had attacked construction company workers along Ogbia Nembe road in Bayelsa State, forcibly taking away a 53-year-old Lebanese identified as Ramzi Bau Hadir.

Contrary to reports that only one soldier lost his life during the attack, the army noted that two soldiers who were acting as security detail were felled during the exchange of gunfire.

“They (the soldiers) put spirited efforts to stop the abduction of an expatriate working with the company, but lost their lives during the encounter while an expatriate was taken hostage,’’ the statement said.