Militants In N’Delta Kill Soldier, Civilian In Ambush

The Joint Task (JTF), Operation Delta Safe, a special security outfit fighting criminalities in the Niger Delta yesterday confirmed that a soldier and one civilian lost their lives when they were ambushed by suspected militants in Ekeremor Local Government, Bayelsa State on Monday.

However, the military’s clarification was in contrast to earlier reports that four soldiers and one civilian, a member of staff of the JTF, were shot during the incident which resulted in claims and counterclaims by sources in the know of the incident.

The Bayelsa government had also in a statement confirmed that three soldiers died while the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) said four soldiers and a non-uniformed man were killed during the attack.

But the Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC) of the outfit in the Niger Delta, Major Ibrahim Abdullahi, disclosed on Friday that the losses were exaggerated, stressing that one soldier and a civilian were killed during the ambush.

He added that during the attack, the soldiers were able to call for reinforcement which led to the exchange of gunfire between the military and the hoodlums.

"This is to put to rest the exaggerated speculations on an incident involving our own troops and suspected militants on Monday 28th August, 2017 around 2000hrs (8 pm) near Letugbene community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

‘During the firefight, one gallant soldier and a civilian staff attached to the military houseboat paid the supreme price for defending fatherland as against reports of four soldiers killed.

"A rescue team supported by gunboats was immediately dispatched to the area and they were able to locate and support two other soldiers who engaged the militants", Abdullahi said.

He also refuted insinuations that the military had deployed men in Letugbene , the village where the incident happened , and surrounding village and had started burning houses and harassing innocent civilians in the area.

"The current operations in the creeks and rivulets around the general area are surgical operations designed to fish out the perpetrators of that dastardly act some of whom fled into neighbouring communities.

" The job of the JTF remains to keep the peace on the waterways, creeks and the Niger Delta in general. Operation Delta Safe and indeed the Nigerian Military does not carry out reprisal attacks on innocent citizens as alleged in some quarters’, he added.

The JTF advised members of the public, especially those resident in areas where operations are being conducted to go about their normal lawful duties without fear of molestation.

But THISDAY gathered yesterday that some houses affected by the military operation included that the Vice Chairman of Letugbene community, Mr. Akpozenebrapagaha Namalate, who is said to be homeless currently.

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