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Soldiers Questionably Invade Bayelsa Ijaw Community on Gunboats, Burn Houses, Kill Villagers

YENAGOA – The Igbomotoru community in Southern Ijaw Local Govern­ment Area of Bayelsa State has been deserted by the residents following an alleged attack on the community by several armed soldiers on Sunday, where peo­ple were feared killed.

Though the reason for the alleged military invasion of the community could not be confirmed, it was gathered on Monday that the soldiers were reportedly in search of mili­tants who allegedly used the area as their hideout. In addition, it could not be ascertained if the soldiers’ mis­sion was in connection with the killing of 16 military personnel around Okuama community in neighboring Delta State by alleged irate youths. A com­munity source said that the combat-ready soldiers stormed Igbomotoru in five gunboats.

They were said to have al­legedly shot sporadically at some youths sighted at the jetty before proceeding to set ablaze the three houses, though the militant lead­er and his men had fled the area when the incident occurred.

The source said, “For now, I’m in the bush as I speak. But in the early hours of yesterday (Sunday) around 8 a.m., I saw military gunboats about seven, and one passport that came to the com­munity. “I was standing at the water­side looking at them; they saw some of our youths in the jetty and that was how they started shooting at them. Many people are dead. Since yesterday (Sun­day), we have been hiding.” Efforts to reach the spokes­person for the Nigerian Army 16 Brigade, Elebele-Yenagoa, did not yield positive results as of the time of filing this report.

SOURCE: Independent

IMAGE: Punch

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