A motorized barge belonging to the Sterling Global Services Oil Company was the target of an attack by unknown gunmen Tuesday morning. Two soldiers on the barge and a retired Naval officer were killed in the ambush and the barge captain and two other soldiers were taken hostage by the shooters.
Sources in the community said they heard the gunfire exchanged between the gunmen and soldiers.
Media Coordinator of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), in Yenagoa, Lt. Col Onyema Nwachukwu, said the soldiers had been detailed to escort the Sterling Global Services barge and he confirmed that two soldiers died in the attack.
He said the gunmen ambushed the soldiers and opened fire on them.
``I can confirm that some of our soldiers on board the barge belonging to Sterling Global Oil Resources Ltd. ran into an ambush along Angiama-Ekpelebiri waterways in Sagbama Local Government area.
``There was a shoot-out between the soldiers and the unknown gunmen.
``Two of our men lost their lives and two other civilians sustained injures,’’ Nwachukwu said, adding that three of the unidentified gunmen sustained gunshot injuries.
He said that the military outfit had deployed troops to the area and were on the trail of the gunmen.
A source in the community who gave his name as Tari, told our correspondent by phone that after the attack, the military deployed gunboats to pursue the gunmen.
He said the gunmen escaped from the area in their speedboat with three of their colleagues who sustained bullet wounds.
It was gathered that the remains of the dead soldiers and civilian were retrieved from the river and deposited in an undisclosed mortuary in the state.