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Militants attack oil vessel, kill three in Bayelsa creeks

Barely three weeks after an ambush on a military houseboat which led to the killing of two persons in Southern Ijaw creeks in Bayelsa, suspected militants have again attacked a tug-boat laden with crude oil in the same area and killed three crew members.

Gunmen suspected to be Niger Delta militants had on August 28, 2017 ambushed a houseboat operated by the Joint Task Force and killed a soldier and a civilian crew member.

Another vessel with a combined team of security escort on board and civilians was attacked on Friday by suspected sea pirates at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

Two of the victims were security escorts and a civilian crew member of the tugboat which was reportedly towing a vessel.

Asinim Butswat, Police Public Relations Officer for Bayelsa Command who confirmed the incident, said that one police operative is still missing as his body is yet to be recovered.

He said that a response team dispatched to the crime scene rescued eight occupants of the ill-fated boat while efforts are underway to arrest the suspected bandits.

“On 22, September 2017, at about 1845hrs, a Tugboat, towing a Barge with a combined team of policemen from the Nigerian Inland waterways, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp and Civilians on board was attacked by Suspected Sea Pirates.The incident took place at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw LGA, Bayelsa.

“A reinforced team arrived shortly and rescued one Policeman, three NSCDC personnel and four civilians. However, a policeman, one NSCDC Personnel and a civilian were shot dead by the sea pirates. One Policeman is still missing,” Mr. Butswat said.

The police spokesperson said that the remains of the victims have been recovered and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary for autopsy.

According to him, a search party has been deployed to find the missing policeman while all security operatives in Southern Ijaw LGA have been alerted and efforts are on-going to arrest the culprits.

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