Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Soldiers attached to the joint military task force deployed in the Niger Delta to protect oil facilities said they killed a suspected militant in a gun duel and arrested several oil theft suspects on Thursday.
A statement issued by Lt.-Cdr. Thomas Otuji, Spokesman of ‘Operation Delta Safe’,ODS, which was made available in Yenagoa, Bayelsa said the incident occurred during one of several operations it carried out across the Niger Delta region.
“In fulfilment of its mandate to rid the Niger Delta from all forms of criminality, troops deployed at various sectors have intensified special operations to saturate the creeks and environments of Joint Operation Area.
“ Troops of ODS, Sector 2, Bayelsa State, received information of a hideout of armed bandits in Ibematoro Community. Troops arrived the enclave and engaged them in a gun battle. One criminal was killed and 2 suspects arrested.
“ Items recovered include, 1 x AK 47 rifle and a magazine loaded with 20 rounds of 7.62 millimetre special ammunition”, Otuji, the Deputy Spokesman of the JTF in the region noted.
Also, the JTF stated that following a distress call received by troops in Bayelsa, indicating that sea pirates were terrorising innocent citizens at Ogubene Creeks, troops deployed to Kulama oil rig trailed the pirates to the location.
“The pirates fled on sighting gunboats from a distance. The troops, however, rescued one Mr Dokubo Charles who said pirates absconded with his 25 Horse Power engine mounted on a wooden boat. The pirates are being trailed for possible apprehension,” Otuji said.