By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
Suspected sea pirates have reportedly killed four soldiers and two civilians in an oil barge around the Lutegbene River in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that the suspected sea pirates killed no fewer than four soldiers and two civilians on board.
It was also learnt that the incident occurred at about 5pm on Sunday when the vessel was said to have been heading to Delta State from Rivers State
Multiple sources said that, “other persons on board also sustained severe injuries during the attack.
Sources from the community confirmed the incident on Monday to our correspondent but, “alleged that following the killing, military personnel allegedly invaded Lutegbene community where they demanded the community to produce the pirates.
“The military personnel returned to the community on Monday where they allegedly set some buildings ablaze.
This attack is coming a month after unknown gunmen suspected to be pirates reportedly killed four naval ratings at Agge, a coastal community boundary Bayelsa and Delta States.
Our correspondent could not independently verified the community claims as at the time of filing this report.
AUTHENTIC NEWS DAILY gathered that the incident was first rumoured to have occurred in the Delta end of the Ekeremor River until it was further learnt that the incident took place in Bayelsa.
“It was not an incident of boat that capsized, it didn’t happened in Delta. The incident happened in Lutegbene in Ekeremor River of Bayelsa State. Some unknown gunmen attacked a barge belonging to an oil firm with military escort.
“The vessel was going to Delta State from Port Harcourt when the pirates highlighted from the creeks and attacked them. Four military personnel and two civilians were killed.
“The news that is coming to me now indicates that soldiers are currently in Lutegbene community.
“The attack happened about three kilometers away from the community. The river is an open river for commercial activities. The area is the major route for those travelling to Rivers and Delta States.
“The incident happened around 5pm on Sunday”, one of the sources said on Monday evening”.
When contacted for comments on the incident, the spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe, Eromosele Unuakhalu, said that, “i had just handed over as spokesman of the task force. I will make the number of my successor available for enquiries”.
However, Unuakhalu did not get back with the number or picked further calls placed to his telephone line.
When also contacted, the spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr Asinim Butswat, said “I sm not aware of the incident.”
He, however, directed that, “you should contact the military and JTF for confirmation”.
A senior source in Delta State Police Command confirmed the incident on Monday, to our correspondent.
He said that, “the attack happened on Sunday in Bayelsa State, and not Delta State as was being rumoured”.