Suspected pirates operating on the waterways of Nembe, in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa, have killed a soldier attached to the Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield.
In the attack on the JTF operatives yesterday morning, other soldiers were said to have been injured.
The soldiers were said to be on patrol of the waterways when they ran into the pirates, who reportedly operated on a vessel that looked like a speedboat.
It was learnt that the soldiers on sighting the speedboat attempted to flag it down for a routine check.
Instead of stopping in obedience to the soldiers’ directive, the hoodlums were said to have opened fire on the patrol team.
It was learnt that the soldiers engaged the pirates who immediately escaped during the exchange of fire.
One of the soldiers, identified as Rabiu, was said to have been hit by the bullets of the criminals while the driver of the patrol boat, a civilian, and others sustained injuries.
Rabiu was said to have died at the Brass Terminal operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company where the injured casualties were rushed to after the encounter.
A security source, who did not want his name mentioned, said medical personnel battled in vain to save Rabiu’s life.
Narrating the incident, the source said, “They didn’t know that the occupants of the speedboat were pirates. They waved them but they refused to stop. The next thing was that the pirates engaged the soldiers.”
Reacting to the incident, JTF said the patrol team successfully repelled the sea pirates’ attack along the waterways.