The Joint Military Force deployed to the Niger Delta has vowed to apprehend the militants who attacked its base and killed the three soldiers at Nembe jetty on Monday.
This is contained in a statement by Lt.-Cdr. Abdulrashid Ahmed, Acting spokesman of Operation Delta Safe, in Yenagoa on Tuesday.
Ahmed said that the troops had been reinforced to fish out the militants.
“Some suspected gunmen believed to be militants at about 10 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2016 attacked 343 Artillery Regiment, a detachment of Operation DELTA SAFE deployed at Nembe Jetty in Bayelsa State. During the incidence, three soldiers lost their lives.
“The Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, has consequently deployed reinforcement team to apprehend the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said.
Ahmed quoted the commander of the joint force as warning that henceforth, Operation Delta Safe would go on offensive to fish out all criminals in the region.
He attributed the attack by militants to the ongoing operations of the troop to flush out all forms of criminality, especially pipeline vandalism and destruction of illegal refinery within the region.
Ahmed, however, assure law abiding public, particularly the Nembe community that its operation in the area was to ensure conducive and safe waterways for legitimate businesses in the Niger Delta region.
Meanwhile residents in Nembe are leaving the area for fear of reprisal by the military following the attack.
Mrs Marry Benjamin, who hails from Nembe, described that attack in which the militants carted away a military gunboat and a cache of arms and ammunition as worrisome.
She recalled that militants had attacked the military post in November 2015 and killed four soldiers.
“The killing of the soldiers has triggered panic in Nembe area; our people have started moving out in fear of military reprisal.
“We can no longer stay in the area because shootings are ongoing here and there,” Benjamin said.