Yenagoa — The peace in the creek of Bayelsa State, was disrupted, yesterday, as three soldiers attached to Joint Task Force, JTF, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield and a retired naval officer were killed in an ambush by suspected sea pirates.
The incident occurred on the Angiama/Ebedebiri waterways in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.
Also, an unidentified civilian was reportedly killed in the gun battle while the driver of the attacked barge was allegedly taken away.
It was learnt that the soldiers were on escort duty on board Sterling Global Oil Services barge when they came under attack from the sea pirates.
Sources told Vanguard that "the soldiers were out numbered by the hoodlums."
Though community sources said three soldiers and one civilian were killed in the gunfight, the sounds of which caused panic in nearby communities, JTF confirmed that it lost only two of its operatives.
Heavy presence of troops was noticed in the creeks connecting the East-West Road as this reporter was returning from Sagbama axis, the troubled area.
JTF's spokesman, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed the incident.
He said that only two soldiers were killed. "I can confirm that our operatives on escort duty on board the Sterling Global Oil Resources barge were ambushed by gunmen on the Angiama-Etelibiri waterways of Sagbama Local Government Area of the state. There was a shoot-out between the gunmen and our troops. Two of our operatives were killed in action. Gunboat patrol boats have been deployed to the area to fish out the culprits."