Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: JTF Launches Manhunt for Soldiers' Killers

Yenagoa — Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, code named Operation Pulo Shield, has launched a massive manhunt for killers of two of its personnel and a retired naval officer on the Forcados River bordering Bayelsa and Delta States.

The slain soldiers, according to JTF, were on escort duty on board an Indian owned Sterling Global Oil Services barge when they came under attack at the Angiama-Ebedebiri stretch of Forcados River, a border area between Bayelsa and Delta States.

Also killed in the attack, allegedly launched by suspected sea pirates, was a crew member of the vessel, a retired naval officer, simply identified as Deinde.

The remains of the soldiers and the ex-naval officer, informed sources told Vanguard, had been recovered by the military authorities and deposited at an undisclosed morgue.

The development has again brought to the fore, the danger faced by security operatives and riverine commuters in the troubled creeks of the region.

Sources in the riverine enclave bordering Bayelsa and Delta States told Vanguard that armed soldiers backed by five gunboats and several other smaller watercrafts were seen combing the Forcados River and adjoining creeks bordering the two states in search of the suspected pirates.

The heavy presence of the security operatives, sources said,was causing panic in the predominantly fishing settlements on the Forcados River stretch bordering the two states.

Though JTF Spokesman, Lt. Col Onyeama Nwachukwu could not be reached, a security source told Vanguard that the task force would not relent in its pursuit of the perpetrators of the heinous act until they were brought to book.

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