Six persons, including four naval officers attached to an oil servicing company, are feared dead in Bayelsa State following a surprise attack by suspected militants.
The incident reportedly occurred on Tuesday at the Nembe creeks in Nembe Local Government Area (LGA).
It was learned that a senior employee of the oil servicing firm and his wife, identified simply as Mercy, were among persons reportedly gunned down by the gunmen.
While Mercy was reportedly killed on the spot, sources said the whereabouts of the officers and the oil workers were unknown after the incident.
A security source who described the attack said the gunmen took their victims by surprise.
He said the attack occurred at one of the wellheads that supply crude oil to the Nembe Flow Station.
The source said the victims left the flow station to inspect the wellhead and that the wife of the oil worker, who came on a visit, decided to accompany her husband on the inspection tour.
"Immediately when they got to the wellhead close to the flow station, some militants waylaid them and killed the woman on the spot. The whereabouts of the employee and the naval ratings are still unknown. There are indications that they have been killed by the gunmen," the source said.
The source, a senior security officer who requested anonymity, lamented the ongoing attacks on security personnel and military gunboats in the region.
When contacted, Central Naval Command spokesman Lt. Commander Edward Yeibo said although there was an attack, it was not to his knowledge that the naval officers were killed.
"What I know is that there was an attack on Tuesday morning but there have been no casualties recorded. I am not aware of that. There was an attack on three ratings but no casualties recorded, to the best of my knowledge," he said.