Gunmen on Tuesday attacked and killed two soldiers in an ambush on Ekpelebiri-Angiama River, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. A retired naval personnel was also reportedly killed in the attack.
Sources in the community said there was commotion as sound of gunfire between the gunmen and soldiers filled the air sending people in area scampering for safety.
A civilian, identified as the driver of the motorised barge being used by the soldiers, was reportedly taken away as hostage by the gunmen.
Media Coordinator of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in Yenagoa, Onyema Nwachukwu, said the soldiers were detailed to escort an oil barge belonging to Sterling Global Services Oil Company Ltd.
Mr. Nwachukwu told newsmen on phone that two soldiers were killed in the attack. He said that 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 unknown gunmen.
Two of our men lost their lives and two other civilians sustained injures," Mr. Nwachukwu, a Lt. Colonel, said, adding that three of the unidentified gunmen sustained also gunshot injuries.
He did not confirm the death of the retired naval officer.
He said that the military outfit had deployed troops to the area and were on the trail of the gunmen.
Another source in the community, who only gave his name as Tari, said on phone that after the attack, the military deployed gunboats to pursue the gunmen.
He said that the gunmen escaped from the area in their speedboat with three of their colleagues who sustained bullet wounds.
The remains of the dead soldiers and civilian had been retrieved from the river and deposited in an undisclosed mortuary in the state.