Nigeria: Soldiers engage militants in gun battle, foil attack on Agip facility

*Nigerian military personnel.

*Nigerian military personnel.

29 May 2016, Yenagoa — Troops of 343 Artillery Regiment of 2 Brigade, 82 division of the Nigerian army, engaged some militants in a gun battle in an attempt to prevent an attack on a pipeline belonging to Agip oil in Bayelsa state.

Sani Usman, the spokesman of the army, confirmed the incident, saying soldiers also prevented the violent group from attacking another “critical infrastructure” in the state.

Usman said some of the militants were killed, while the only security agent – an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) – who sustained an injury in the operations had been taken to the hospital.

“Today, May 29, 2016, in the early hours of morning troops of 343 Artillery Regiment of 2 Brigade, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, carried out patrol within the general area of Gulobokri and Eweleso, around Brass area in Bayelsa state,” he said in a statement.

“During the exercise, the patrol team had an encounter with some armed militants in 2-speed boats with intent to blow up Nigerian Agip Oil Company pipeline at Gulobokri. The suspected vandals opened fire on the patrol team.

“The troops responded with overwhelming superior firepower and as a result, the suspected criminals sped off from the area with many of them sustaining gunshot wounds. No casualty on the patrol team.

“Unfortunately, a member of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, attached to the team sustained gunshot wound. He has since been evacuated and he is in a stable condition.

“In a related development, another patrol team of the same unit of 82 Division Nigerian Army, on patrol to Perigbene House Boat also encountered 3 Speed boats suspected to be containing militants about to attack another critical infrastructure in the area.

“The troops opened fire on them, killing most of them and injuring others. However, the casualty on militants cannot be ascertained as it was raining heavily and the raging storm could not allow troops to go in pursuit of the escaping criminals.

“A mop-up operation has been organised for those militants that escaped with gunshot wounds and injuries as they may be receiving treatment in the neighbouring communities. With this development, troops would continue to intensify patrol in the general area to avert further vandalization or attacks in the area.”

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