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JTF, militants in gun battle

By Emma Amaize

WARRI – SOLDIERS suspected to be from the Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger Delta, Wednesday, stormed a militant camp in Ayakoromor community, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta state and engaged the militants in a gun battle.

Efforts to get the spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col Timothy Antigha, for comments on the invasion failed as his GSM phone rang out more than seven times he was called, while a male soldier who answered on one occasion simply asked the reporter to call back.

It was gathered that soldiers struck at the camp at about 2.00 pm but Vanguard could not confirm if there was any casualty, as sources close to the militant camp, believed to be owned by wanted ex-militant leader, John Togo, claimed the militants chased the soldiers back.

NDLF spokesman, Mark Anthony who spoke to Vanguard on phone, last night, confirmed that JTF soldiers visited the camp and were chased back by the militants.

He, however, said, “The NDLF was not fighting anybody and had ceased hostilities as a result of the appeal by eminent Nigerians, including the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku to enable the Federal Government look into our grievances.

“It is, therefore, surprising to us to see the JTF coming to attack us, we are not fighting them and we are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to call the task force to order, as we don’t want anybody to create the impression that we fighting them and that is why they attacked or that we do not want President Jonathan to rule the country in an atmosphere of peace”, he said.

“We have promised to maintain the peace and we have done that for months even when our demands have not been addressed, so the task force should not provoke us. Imagine what would have happened if our boys had decided to fight back.”

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