Five Feared Dead as Soldiers, Vandals Clash

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By Chiemelie Ezeobi

No fewer than five persons were on Tuesday feared dead following heavy shooting between operatives of the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army on the one hand and pipeline vandals on the other at the Ibafo area.

After the shootout, five vandals were feared dead.

THISDAY gathered that the vandals had attempted to send the military personnel out of the area by attacking them with guns but the military had resisted and fought back.

The incident which started about 5:30pm and lasted for about an hour, happened after the vandals had stormed Ibafo from Arepo, a neighbouring community, ahead of an operation.

They were said to have run into the soldiers who were part of the joint taskforce on anti-pipeline vandalism, code-named Operation Awatse.

Confirming the incident, the Ogun State Police Command said although they were aware of the shooting, they were not carried along.

Also, the state police command’s spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, said only one person was killed.

He said, “The police confirm that one person was killed and another injured. The clash was between security operatives protecting pipelines and vandals. It started around 5:30pm and lasted for almost an hour.”

On his part, the Assistant Director of Army Public Relations in charge of 81 Division, Lieutenant Colonel Kingsley Samuel, said they were not aware of the shooting.

For the navy, the Command Information Officer of the Western Naval Command, Lieutenant Commander Abdulkadir, said the operation was carried out by personnel from the Defence headquarters and not the command.

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