Gunmen yesterday killed two soldiers and a retired naval man in an ambush on Ekpelebiri-Angiama River in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.
Sources in the community told that there was commotion as sound of gunfire between the gunmen and soldiers filled the air, sending people scampering for safety. The driver of the motorised barge being used by the soldiers was reportedly taken hostage by the gunmen.
Media Coordinator of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in Yenagoa, Lt. Col Onyema Nwachukwu, said the slain soldiers were escorting an oil barge belonging to Sterling Global Services Oil Company Ltd. There was no immediate comment from Sterling. Col. Nwachukwu confirmed the killing of the soldiers in the attack.
He said the gunmen ambushed the soldiers and opened fire on them. “I can confirm that some of our soldiers on board the barge belonging to Sterling Global Oil Resources Ltd. ran into an ambush along Angiama-Ekpelebiri waterways in Sagbama Local Government Area.
“There was a shoot-out between the soldiers and the gunmen.
“Two of our men lost their lives and two other civilians sustained injures,’’ Col. Nwachukwu said, adding that three of the unidentified gunmen sustained gunshot injuries.
He said the military outfit had deployed troops in the area and were on the trail of the gunmen.
Another source in the community, who only gave his name as Tari, told NAN on telephone that after the attack, the military deployed gunboats to pursue the gunmen.
He said the gunmen escaped from the area in their speedboat with three of their colleagues who sustained bullet wounds.
NAN gathered that the remains of the slain soldiers and the civilian had been retrieved from the river and deposited in a mortuary.