By Emma Amaize, Sam Oyadongha & Perez Brisibe
OGBOGBAGBENE—SUSPECTED militants about 2a.m., yesterday, invaded an army formation in Ogbogbagbene, a riverine community in Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State, killing a soldier, injuring others and carting away a General Purpose Machine Gun, GPMG, belonging to the Nigeria Army.
The unidentified gunmen, who also wounded a civil defence man in the community, reportedly overpowered the soldiers on duty.
While some sources claimed that the militants made away with a gunboat, arms and ammunition, the Joint Task Force, JTF, was yet to comment on the attack on its men.
Ogbogbagbene is the hometown of the former Minister of Niger Delta in the ex-President Gooduck Jonathan administration, Elder Godsday Orubebe.
However, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, who confirmed the incident to Vanguard, said: “Unknown gunmen attacked a village in Burutu LGA, killed a soldier and injured a civil defence man. The hoodlums seized one GPMG from the army on duty.”
Ibrahim said that policemen, led by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Burutu were monitoring the situation.
Spokesperson of the JTF, Major Abubakar Abdulahi, promised to find out details of the incident when one of our reporters contacted him earlier, yesterday.
Subsequent calls and text messages later by our reporters for confirmation were not responded to, but a military source confirmed to Vanguard that militants attacked the community and killed a soldier.
A security source in the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “I can’t confirm if they are militants or just hoodlums, but they (assailants) killed an army personnel, injured others and carted away arms and ammunition, including a military gunboat.
“The remains of the soldier had been deposited at the morgue of the Bomadi General Hospital while the injured are receiving attention at an undisclosed hospital,” he added.
The incident has heightened tension in and around the community, which serves as a transit point for commuters travelling to other riverine communities in the hinterlands of Bayelsa and Delta states.
Authorities of the JTF deployed more soldiers on a stop and search operations, yesterday, for the militants, who fled the community after the attack.
Some residents were reported to be fleeing the town for fear of military reprisal while others locked themselves in their houses.
A community source, who spoke to Vanguard a few kilometres from the scene of the incident, said the gunmen invaded the formation about 2a.m., and overpowered the soldiers who were caught unawares.
Appealing to security operatives to exercise caution in the hunt for the hoodlums, the councilor representing, Tamingbe Ward 4 in the Bomadi Legislature, Angodi Akpo, said: “The community is on siege for now.”
“Everyone is apprehensive and are locked indoors over the likely action of the military following the attack. I am calling for caution on the part of the Nigeria military, they should use their intelligence to fish out the perpetrators of this act, who have since fled the area after the attack, rath