Exercise Crocodile Smile: 6 Soldiers Feared Killed in Cross River

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*Only one soldier died, two militants killed, says army

Bassey Inyang in Calabar

Six soldiers involved in the Nigerian military operation code-named
“Exercise Crocodile Smile” have been feared killed in Bakassi local
government area of Cross River State by militants suspected to be
members of the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF).

According to information gathered from sources in the area which is
about 30 minutes’ drive from Calabar, the state capital, the incident
happened in the early hours of Saturday in the abode of one of the
militant leaders known as G1, in Efut Esighi village.

The sources who pleaded not to be mentioned disclosed that the
residence of the militant leader known as Simply Benjamin had been
occupied by men of the Nigerian army, as part of the operations to
flush the militants out of Bakassi, Akpabuyo and the creeks of Calabar
South.

However, information has it that the soldiers were taken unawares and
attacked at about 2am to 3am, perhaps after they had dropped their
guard.

The sources said five soldiers were killed instantly while one of them
who sustained serious gunshot injuries died later. The soldiers also
lost some guns to the invading militants who retreated into the creeks
after the attack.

It was also gathered from the sources that some young ladies were
spotted within the vicinity of the attack, but it could not be
established whether they were among the militants or with the soldiers
before the attack occurred.

The army has commented on the incident, saying only one soldier was
killed during the attack while the militants lost two of their
combatants.