A Soldier with 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) and two personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been killed by suspected militants in Rivers State.
The personnel guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines at Gio community were attacked by suspected militants on Sunday, in an attempt to vandalize 24″ and 28″ TNP pipelines.
Deputy Director Public Relations, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, confirmed the attack in a statement.
“In the early hours of Sunday the 16th of June 2019 (Yesterday), troops of 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines at Gio community in Tai Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State were attacked by suspected militants who were hitherto prevented from vandalizing 24″ and 28” TNP thereby putting them out of the illicit business.
“Unfortunately, during the ensuing fire fight one soldier and 2 personnel of the NSCDC lost their lives and their weapons (one AK 47 and 2 G3 rifles) were carted away by the assailants.”
The statement added that there was an immediate reinforcement by troops at the location and an intelligence led to the tracking and engagement with the suspects in a gun battle.
“Consequently, at about 9:00am, troops cashing on available information sighted a white Toyota Hilux vehicle without number plate, hastily driven with 4 occupants.
“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at the troops in a bid to escape. Troops reacted, and incapacitated the militants’ vehicle. As a result, the bandits abandoned their vehicle and fled to the bush.
“One of the criminals was gunned down and was identified as the wanted notorious cultists and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele – popularly known as MENE. Others with him, believed to escape with gunshot wounds – leaving trails of blood.
Iliyasu added that the troops recovered a vehicle, ammunition and other items which was handed over to the NSCDC Rivers State Command for further action.
“The following items were recovered from the scene and in the vehicle:, 1 x K2 Rifle, 2 x Magazines loaded with 52 Rounds of 5.56mm, some personal effects, one pair of vehicle plate number KRK 95DP RIVERS and some documents.
“The body and other recovered exhibits have been handed over to the NSCDC Rivers State Command for further action, while troops continue to track the remaining fleeing bandits to face justice.”