CHINEDU WOSU YENAGOA
Gunmen suspected to be militants in Bayelsa State have ambushed and killed four soldiers and a civilian along the waterways of Letugbene in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Sources close to security agencies confirmed that a team of soldiers returning from Letugbene community on Monday were killed as the armed men laid ambush and fired at them.
Although no reasons were given by them as to why they killed the soldiers and civilian, it was gathered that the rampaging militants overpowered the soldiers, seized their arms, moved them to a location in the creeks and shot them dead.
One of the two civilians, a boat driver was said to have escaped. The only survivor of the attack, he reportedly jumped into the water before he was shot at by the hoodlums.
Reacting to the killings, an Ijaw youth leader and Chairman of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Central Zone, 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 today to discuss the issue and other problems affecting the zone.
He expressed worry over the action of the suspected militants for killing the soldiers, adding that this action would push the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe to begin a military operation in Letugbene and Ebelabiri.
The IYC strongman, said residents of the area accused the military of burning down houses and destroying properties in the operation launched to fish out the perpetrators.
Also a security commander, who confirmed the murder of the soldiers, lamented the rising cases of killing of security agents and said measures must be adopted to stop the trend.
Similarly, a police source, who also spoke in confidence, said only soldiers were killed in the attack adding that the civilian attached to the soldiers escaped.
Efforts to get responses from the Commander, JTF, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi to react to the killing of the soldiers proved abortive as at the time of sending this report.