5 Killed as Troops of ‘Operation Delta Safe’ Besiege Pirates Hideout in Bayelsa Community

The Nigerian Military conducted a raid in Tukugbene-Ayama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, in order to apprehend notorious sea criminal and kidnapper known as Lanre.

The Defence Headquarters released a statement on Wednesday, confirming the assault.

“Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE acting on actionable and credible intelligence on a suspected pirate/sea robber gang leader one Mr LANRE mounted surveillance on the suspect who came into town from Port Harcourt with one AYI ABUH also a notorious Kidnapper/pirate. Subsequently, troops conducted a raid operation of the pirates’ camp at Tukugbene-Ayama ijaw LGA Bayelsa State on 4 Aug 20.”

The statement released by the Military and signed by Major General John Enenche, who is the Military Coordinator Defence Media Operations, said that, “The operation was aimed at extracting LANRE and AYI ABUH as well as other members of the gang from the community. Upon arrival at the personal jetty of the suspect, troops met heavy resistance from harassing gun fire from pirates/militants in 5 boats that approached from adjoining creek. The overwhelming fire power of own troops led to the forceful withdrawal of the pirates/militants with various degree of gunshots wounds. The gallant troops sustained the fire fight until 5 of the pirates/militants were neutralised ashore.”

The statement also reported that sole persons in the boat sustained injuries, while others swam to the bushes as the boat sunk.

“Furthermore, three of the attacking boats were sunk while the occupants with various degrees of gunshots wounds escaped into the river. In the process, troops recovered 3 boats from the pirates. Additionally, own troops took over the jetty and advance to the objective area which was empty. It was believed that while the exchange of fire was ongoing LANRE and AYI ABUH escaped. A complete cordon and search was carried out on the building where the suspects were believed to be residing and thereafter the building was cleared. In the process, troops recovered 3 AK47 rifles with a magazine, two 200 HP Yamaha outbound engines and three 115HP Yamaha outbound engines.”

A kingpin, known as Sammy, notorious for rampant kidnappings in the region, was also reported to have been neutralised around East West Road.

“Relatedly, troops acting on credible and actionable intelligence about a notorious criminal/kidnapper and oil thief popularly known as AKALAMI High Chief AKA SAMMY. Troops swiftly mobilized to conduct raid operation at his identified hideout along Mbiama East West road. During the operation, the kingpin was neutralised while attempting to escape. Items including a localliy made pistol and cartridges were recovered from the criminal. Sammy is reported to be a close ally to a notorious criminal known as VIP suspected to be one of the masterminds of the killing of 5 Battalion Soldiers around East West road.”

The statement also appreciated the courage shown by the troops in fighting criminals.

“The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their dexterity and encourages them to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of pirates/militants in the Niger Delta region of the country.”

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