Three persons were confirmed killed while several others sustained injuries when the Joint Task Force (Operation Pulo Shield) engaged suspected militants in a gun duel in Delta State.
The JTF Commander, Maj.-Gen. Alani Okunlola, made the disclosure yesterday in Warri while briefing newsmen at the 3 Battalion, Effurun.
Parading one suspect arrested with various arms and ammunition, Okunlola said the operation took place on September 5 in Benigboye community, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
“My men raided a militant camp in Benigboye.
“On sighting the troops, the suspects opened fire which led to a gun battle that lasted for 30 minutes before they fled the camp.
“In the follow up operation on September 6, my troops, on getting information on the hideout of the suspected militants that attacked Odimodi community, launched a search operation and apprehended one Ebiwame Lamia,” he said.
Okunola added that during preliminary investigation, Lamia confessed that he was in the camp during the previous raid.
He quoted Lamia as saying that three persons died in the gun battle while several others escaped with bullet wounds.
The commander said the JTF was in search of the fleeing suspects and urged the people to assist the troops with useful information that could lead to the arrest of the criminals.
Okunlola listed weapons recovered from the camp to include sophisticated weapons like Medium Machine Gun (MNG), AK 47 Light Machine Gun (LMG) and AK 47 automatic rifle.
Others included Fabrique Nationals (FN), SMG, G3 riffles, one single barrel gun, 11 Improvised Explosive Divices (IEDs), an ID card and ATM cards belonging to the hoodlums.
He said the recovered arms and ammunition were in the custody of Operation Pulo Shield.
The suspect, Lamia, who said he was 17 years old, told newsmen he was a cook in the camp of the militants.