A retired Naval Officer and three serving personnel of the Joint Military Task Force were, yesterday, shot dead in an early morning ambush mounted by suspected sea pirates along the Angiama-Etelibiri waterways of Sagbama Local Government area of Bayelsa state.
Also shot dead in the gun battle with the sea pirates was an unidentified civilian while another civilian identified as the driver of the attacked barge was reportedly taken away.
Authorities of the Joint Military Task Force in Yenagoa confirmed that the military personnel and other causality of the attack were detailed on official escort of an oil barge belonging to the Sterling Global Services Oil Company limited. The destination of the barge is however unknown.
While community sources told LEADERSHIP that three soldiers and one civilian were killed.
According to him, Ebilade Tuoyor, confirmed that the heavy sounds of gun shots triggered concern among the indigenes of Angiama-Etelibiri community. The gun battle according to him lasted for hours.
The Military Authority through the head of the Joint Media Coordinating Centre, Lt.Col. Onyema Nwachukwu , confirmed the incident but declared that only two soldiers of the JTF were killed and it was an ambush staged by unknown gunmen.
According to Onyema,"I can confirm that some of our troops on board the Sterling Global Oil Resources limited ran into an ambush along the Angiama-Etelibiri waterways of Sagbama Local Government area of the state. There was a shoot-out between the unknown gunmen and our troops. Two of our men lost their lives and two civilians were injured."
Onyema also confirmed inflicting fatal injury on three of the unidentified gunmen. He, however, confirmed that heavy deployment of troops has taken place in the area. The soldiers are on the trail of the unidentified gunmen.
The community source, Ebilade Tuoyor, confirmed that few hours after the incident, heavy deployment of soldiers were noticed along the waterways. Five Gun boats could be counted in pursuit of the sea pirates.