Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Seven suspected militants have been killed in a shoot-out at Isiah-Ama, Oluasiri, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
According to investigation, the suspected militants who also engaged in kidnapping and oil bunkering had heated arguments among themselves on Wednesday night which resulted in a shoot-out that claimed seven of them.
Sources in the area fingered three armed militants groups with location at Izakiri, Ben-Ama and Isiah-Ama as those involved in the shoot-out.
Findings indicated that the argument started when one of the groups was accused of withholding some special high calibre guns being rotated for use by the different groups during kidnapping operations in the creeks.
The argument snowballed into the bloody clash which lasted several hours and seven casualties, including two siblings.
“We also know that the affected gangs, who lost foot soldiers, have buried their dead because the community does not allow for fresh bodies to be kept in the community. Among the dead are two boys from a single parent.
“Security agencies are aware of the illegal activities of these boys. The umbrella body of Ijaw youths are aware and have kept quiet. The people of Oluasiri have cried out severally over the activities of these boys but there has been no action,” the sources said.
The paramount ruler of Isiah-Ama, Iyerite Chiefson Awululu, in an interview, said the gun battle was among militant factions in the area.
“The gun battle lasted hours. And they have suffered some deaths. Reports reaching me from my subjects, no innocent person was killed in the battle. And we have reported to the council chairman,” he said.
Chairman of Nembe council, Alalibo West, confirmed that the incident has been reported to Governor Douye Diri, Commissioner of Police and other relevant security agencies.
“We have reported to the relevant authorities and requested gun boat patrol to calm the situation,” he said.
Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the incident, in a statement, said the police with assistance from other security agencies, have commenced investigation on the incident.