Three soldiers attached to the Joint Force in the Niger Delta - Operation Pulo Shield are feared dead in an ambush by a gang of unknown gunmen in Bayelsa State on Monday.

It was gathered that the incident happened on Monday night in Foropa, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) of the State.

Troops had been stationed in the area since 2010.

Niger Delta militants

It could not be ascertained if the assailants were local or came from another area to carry out the surprise attack on the troops.

Residents of the community are reportedly fleeing "for fear of military invasion and indiscriminate arrest of innocent persons."

The security outfit was said to have evacuated the bodies of the slain soldiers before dawn.

Efforts to contact the spokesman of the security outfit, Colonel Isa Ado, proved futile as his mobile phone was unreachable.

Tension has been mounting in the Niger Delta following the resurgence of militant activities resulting in the coordinated bombings of oil and gas facilities in the region.

A new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on a Shell facility in Forcados, a Chevron Okan platform in Abiteye in Escravos, as well as pipelines transporting oil to the Warri and Kaduna refineries.

The development has prompted President Muhammadu Buhari to threaten to deal with the militants the same way the government has been dealing with Boko Haram.

The president has directed the military to uncover those behind the bombings of oil and gas installations in the region.

He has also given an express directive to the military to halt the return of militancy in the Niger Delta.

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