3 Soldiers killed as Niger Delta violence escalates

Militants

Three soldiers attached to the Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta, code-named Operation Pulo Shield, have been killed in an ambush by gunmen in Bayelsa State.

The incident happened on Monday night in Foropa, South­ern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

It could not be ascertained if the gunmen were from the coun­cil or they sneaked in from an­other area to carry out the sur­prise attack on the troops.

Residents of the community were said to be fleeing “for fear of military invasion and indiscrim­inate arrest of innocent persons.”
The security outfit was said to have evacuated the bodies of the slain soldiers.

The spokesman of the task force, Col. Isa Ado, could not confirm the incident as calls to his phones did not go through.

Meanwhile, activities at the Rivers State Judiciary headquar­ters, Port Harcourt were ground­ed on Tuesday, following the murder of two security guards by unknown gunmen.

The two security person­nel, who were simply identified as Promise Umeh and Obinna, were killed by gunmen at about 3am.

The correspondent who vis­ited the scene of the incident re­ported that the area was cor­doned off by armed policemen and anti-bomb squad, while ju­diciary workers, lawyers and liti­gants were denied access into the court premises.

The gunmen attacked the unarmed guards with dan­gerous weapons. Two of the se­curity guards were allegedly killed while one who was seri­ously injured is receiving treat­ment in an undisclosed hospital in Port Harcourt. The fourth es­caped from the scene.

The High Court complex Chief Security Officer, Dabotu­bo Douglas, said that when he resumed work yesterday morn­ing, he saw blood stains in parts of the building. When he sought the source of the blood, Douglas said that he was told that two of his security guards were killed by suspected gunmen.

The Acting Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt branch, Chief Akuro George, condemned the attack. He said that it was a de­humanised act and desecration of the temple of justice.

The Chief Registrar of the Court, Mrs. Vivienne L. Koba­ni-Buzugbe, declined comment at the scene of the attack.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, said the police were investigating the killings.
Meanwhile, suspected gun­men on Monday night attacked the Port Harcourt Maximum Prisons.

A prison warder said that the gunmen stormed the prisons through the Abuja axis of the Port Harcourt Township, shooting sporadically at about 11pm. He however said that the invaders were repelled by armed prison officials.

As at the time of filing this report, there no confirmation of escape of prisoners or killing.

It could not be ascertained if the gunmen were from the coun­cil area or they sneaked in from another environment to carry out the surprise attack on the troops.

Residents of the community were said to be fleeing the com­munity “for fear of military inva­sion and indiscriminate arrest of innocent persons”.

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