Four soldiers were killed in what sources said was an ambush by suspected militants along the waterways of Letugbene, Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa State. A civilian was also said to have died in the incident. Sources confirmed that a team of soldiers returning from Letugbene community on Monday became victims of an ambush laid by armed youths believed to be militants.
It was gathered that the militants overpowered the soldiers, seized their arms, moved them to a location in the creeks and shot them dead. While one of the civilians, a boat driver was said to have escaped, the only survivor of the attack reportedly jumped into the water before he was shot by the hoodlums.
An Ijaw youth leader and Chairman of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, Central Zone, Mr. Tare Porri, who confirmed the development condemned the killing of the soldiers describing it as bizarre and unprovoked. Porri said they were killed in cold blood, adding that his zonal leadership would meet on Thursday to discuss the issue and other problems affecting the zone.
He was, however, worried that the action of the suspected militants had pushed the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS) to begin a military operation in Letugbene and Ebelabiri. He said residents in the area accused the military of burning down houses and destroying properties in the operation launched to fish out the perpetrators.
He said: “Two days ago, four military officers were killed in cold blood alongside other civilians. Military officers went to Letugbene community and on their way back, some persons accosted them and killed all of them. “Only one of them escaped. Military, Tuesday morning retaliated, invaded the communities and burnt down houses. The operations are still ongoing and it is spreading to other communities like Ebelabiri.
Also a security commander, who confirmed the murder of soldiers, lamented rising cases of killing of security agents and said measures must be adopted to stop the trend.
“Security operatives are now endangered species. It is unacceptable the way security agents are killed by people they dedicated their lives to protect. In Bayelsa, policemen, civil defenders and soldiers are constantly killed. It is barbaric”, the commander, who spoke in confidence said.
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