By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”The Joint Task Force, yesterday described as false,Â claims of a violent clash between its men and militant group in Warri, Delta State,Â saying “no soldier attached to the task force was killed in any gun battle.”
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, had claimed that a bloody skirmish took place in the early hours of Wednesday ,Â between militants and men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, at Ogulagha in Delta State, in which four soldiers were killed.
According to MEND, the soldiers were in two gunboats and on patrol of the creeks and waterways of Delta State.
â€œThe fight lasted 30 minutes but none of our fighters were injured. Reports reaching us indicate the JTF lost four soldiers with an unspecified number injured,â€ MEND said on-line.
But the Commander of JTF in the Niger Delta, Major- General Sarkin Bello,Â described the claims by the MEND as false and an action targeted at truncating the positive achievements made through the amnesty programme.
Major-General Bello, who spoke to newsmenÂ through the Coordinator of the Joint Media Campaign Centre of the JTF, Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha, said “MEND’s claims should be ignored and disregarded as they are out to thwart Federal Governmentâ€™s effort at restoring peace to the region.”