By Emma Amaize
WARRI- GUNSHOTS thundered for hours in the creek of Delta State, thursday, as the Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger-Delta, shelled a militant camp, belonging to wanted ex-militant leader, John Togo, with military helicopters and gunboats.
The number of casualties could not be ascertained but it was learnt that many of the militants were injured in the gunfire.
The whereabouts of John Togo, who is the leader of the Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, was not known as at the time of this report, but Vanguard learnt that his camp inside the forest in Ayakoromor was completely razed by the task force, which attacked from the sky, ground and marine.
An Ayakoromor villager who called Vanguard at about 3.00 pm said, “As I speak to you now, soldiers are bombarding John Togo’s militant camp in the bush, we heard that they have completely razed down the camp and the boys are on the run”.
“The JTF came prepared with different types of military arsenal and they went all out to attack the camp”, he stated.
Efforts to get comments from the JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha at about 4.00 pm on the raid on John Togo’s camp were not successful as his phone rang out.
John Togo fled to a new den, which he called Israel Barracks, off the Atlantic Ocean, when the JTF closed in on him, last year, after his fighters ambushed and killed some of the soldiers who invaded his camp with a view to overrunning it.
Before he relocated to Israel Barracks, he destroyed the camp with dynamites, but JTF said he was only trying to blindfold the public, as it met some things intact when its men stormed the camp. The militant den was taken by the task force since last year.
However, John Togo has several militant camps and the task force is only discovering them by the day. At the moment, it is occupying not less than two militant camps run by John Togo in Burutu local government area, and with the destruction of another camp, yesterday, the task force is definitely closing in on him.
Efforts to reach the spokesman of the NDLF, Mark Anthony, on the attack by the JTF proved abortive, but he had told Vanguard on Wednesday that the militant group was not fighting the task force because it had ceased hostilities, and was waiting for the response of the Federal Government to respond to their grievances following appeal to them by eminent Nigerians, including the national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and the Special Adviser to the President on Niger-Delta Affairs, Hon. Kingsley Kuku