Gunmen on boats kill JTF and police officers in Bayelsa

Channels Television  
Updated March 2, 2012

Armed gunmen On Thursday attacked security operatives along the creeks and waterways of Brass and Nembe local council areas of Bayelsa state, killing four marine policemen and three men of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) including the Commanding Officer of the Brass Unit, Lieutenant Colonel A. Malik.

The suspected pirates shot dead the marine policemen on Thursday after opening fire on a marine police checkpoint on Nembe River in Bayelsa state in what is perhaps the fiercest attack on security operatives in Bayelsa state since the Amnesty declaration.

The JTF officers attacked were of the formation code named ‘Operation Pluto Shield’ attached to Brass LNG was amongst the officers of the JTF killed during the shoot-out that occurred in the separate attacks.

Bayelsa state police spokesman, Mr. Chris Olakpe who spoke to Channels Television confirmed the attack, but says details are still sketchy, and investigations are on-going.

Channels Television gathered that while the killing of the four policemen occurred at the Marine Police Check Point in Nembe River at about 7 AM, the attack on the senior military personnel and the two naval ratings occurred at the Okpoma River junction at about 10 AM on their way to Ogbia Waterside.

Eyewitness accounts claimed that the gunmen adopted the same style of surprise attack on the killed Police and military personnel.

The gunmen, suspected to be sea pirates, approached Marine Police check Points and the boats conveying the military personnel in two speed boats and opened fire on them.

The spokesman of the Police Command, Mr. Emokpae Eguavoen confirmed the incident to Channels Television said “four corpses from the attacked team of Marine Policemen have so far been recovered.”

On the killing of the Military, the Chairman of the state’s Marine Workers Union, Comrade Lloyd Sese and the Special Adviser to the state governor on security matters, Lt. Col. Bernard Ebipai also confirmed the incident which reportedly occurred at about 10 AM on Thursday.

According to Lt. Col. Ebipai “only one military officer and two naval ratings were attacked along with other passengers in a boat at Okpoma junction of the Brass-Ogbia route of the River.” “We cannot confirm if they were killed.”

However, the media coordinator of the JTF, Lt. Col. Timothy Anthinga refused to confirm the attack, saying though the JTF is waiting for a full report on the attack, it remained “unconfirmed”.