Updated: Three die in thugs and security operatives gun battle in Rivers (photos)

Updated: Three die in thugs and security operatives gun battle in Rivers (photos)

In less than 24 hours to the Rivers state rerun national and state parliamentary elections, an operative of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been gunned down by thug.

Vanguard reports that the hoodlums engaged the DSS operatives in a gun duel on March 18 in Egi area of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of the state.It was gathered that a team of security operatives were intercepted during their operations in the area ahead Saturday’s rerun elections. The interception reportedly resulted in a fierce gun battle between the security personnel and the hoodlums.

Meanwhile, reports just coming in from the state indicate that three persons lost their lives in the gun battle that ensued between Joint security forces and hoodlums in Obagi axis of Egi community, Ogba EgbemaNdoni local government area of the state.The spokesman for Port Harcourt army barracks, Captain Lazarus Eli, confirmed the death of a member of the joint forces.Eli explained that the encounter was between a combined security patrol team made up of the police, DSS and the army, adding that one of them whose identity he did not mention died in the clash. According to him, reinforcement team had since been sent to the area, and calm had since returned.
“A joint security team consisting of the army, police and DSS while on conducting patrol today at Egi in Omoku Community of Ogba/Ndoni/Egbema Local Government Area of Rivers State were attacked by unknown gunmen. The criminals engaged the security team for several hours before they were eventually dislodged. Sadly, a security agent lost his life in the unfortunate incident. Reinforcement has been sent to beef up security in the area and normalcy has been restored. The publicis hereby advised to remain calm and be law abiding throughout the election period and beyond as security agents will continue to work assiduously to ensure security of lives and property,”he said.A community source disclosed that while the hoodlums were retreating no fewer thantwo other persons were killed by their bullets.“I am aware they killed one innocent personand two others. The story will be clearer by tomorrow (today) because all of us have been indoor since the incident,”the source said.

There is undoubtedly serious tension in Rivers state as reports emerged on Thursday that gunmen suspected to be seapirates shot dead three soldiers and a major in the Nigerian army.Before the gruesome murder of these security personnel, the state had been witnessing killings along party lines. A development that made some political actor like the All Progressives Congress (APC) acting national chairman, Segun Oni, alleged that the killing of his party members are politically motivated.

The state government in its initial reaction to the happenings in the state, said the killings were cult related as two cult groups were currently engaged in supremacy battle. The state chapter of the PDP also held that the killings were cult related and alleged that the party had also lost some of its members in the recent death visit to the state.

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