At least three persons were confirmed killed while others sustained injuries when the Joint Task Force (Operation Pulo Shield), engaged suspected militants in a gun duel in Delta State, The Cable reports.
The commander of the force, Alani Okunlola, disclosed this in Warri during a press briefing on Thursday. Parading a suspect allegedly arrested with various arms and ammunition, Okunlola said the operation took place in Benigboye community of Burutu Local Government Area of the state on September 5.
He said, “My men raided a militant camp in Benigboye. On sighting the troops, the suspects opened fire which led to a gun battle that lasted for 30 minutes before they fled the camp. In the follow up operation on September 6, my troops, on getting information on the hideout of the suspected militants that attacked Odimodi community, launched a search operation and apprehended one Ebiwame Lamia.”
Okunola added that during preliminary investigation, Lamia confessed that he was in the camp during the previous raid. He quoted Lamia as saying that three persons died in the gun battle while some escaped with bullet wounds.
The commander said the JTF was in search of the fleeing suspects and urged the people to assist the troops with useful information that could lead to their arrest. He listed weapons recovered from the camp to include medium machine gun, AK 47, light machine gun and AK 47 automatic rifle.
Okunola added that other weapons recovered were SMG, G3 riffles, one single barrel gun, and Improvised Explosive Device and an identity card. He said the recovered arms and ammunition were in the custody of his men. The suspect, who claimed to be 17 years old, told reporters that he was a cook in the camp of the militants.