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Army troops allegedly kill 11 in Bayelsa, raze houses

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Troops of the Nigerian Army have stormed Igbomotoru community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, razing houses and allegedly killing about 11 people.

The action is sequel to last week’s killing of 16 soldiers and officers at Okuama Community in Delta State.

Soldiers in five gunboats reportedly invaded the community, razing houses suspected to be the hideout of a militant leader said to be involved in the killing of the military men who were on a rescue mission in Delta.

DAILY POST reports that an Army Commander, two majors, one captain and 12 soldiers of 181 Amphibious Battalion in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta were killed in Okuama community.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, had ordered an immediate investigation and arrest of the culprits.

Days after the order, it was gathered that some residents of Okuama community fled to neighboring Ughelli for fear of reprisal by soldiers.

The soldiers had during the weekend burnt several houses in Okuama, before storming neighboring communities in Bayelsa in pursuit of those involved in the killing.

According to Daily Trust, a source said immediately the troops stormed the Bayelsa community, they opened fire on some residents relaxing at the jetty before proceeding to set ablaze three buildings suspected to be the hideout of the said militant leader.

He said the community had been able to recover 11 corpses from the attack, while still searching for others as at the time of filing this report.

“The military invasion has affected the people gravely. Lives have been lost, properties have been destroyed. Even after the attack, I am sure that life in the community will never be the same.

“This weekend was scheduled for the burial of one of my late uncles. We had paid for food, drinks, music, speedboat and canopies. And now because of this, the burial can no longer hold.

“In fact some of the people we paid money to are saying that if the date changes, we would have to pay extra money. Is that not a huge loss on its own? So we would have to start looking for more money, that is if there will ever be peace in the community.

“I am appealing to the Federal and State Government to as a matter of urgency intervene in this matter. We do not have a hand in whatever transpired in Delta State. The international community should come to our aid,” the source said.

When contacted via telephone call, the spokesman for Operation Delta Safe, OPDS headquarters, Major Adenegan Ojo, hung up the call after hearing it was a journalist who called.

He, however, did not answer subsequent phone calls.

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