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Delta community razed in response to 16 soldiers killed

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The Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, where sixteen soldiers were killed, has been razed.

There are strong allegations that some angry soldiers may have perpetrated the act after their colleagues were killed.

Meanwhile, the manhunt for the killers is still ongoing, and some arrests have also been made by the soldiers led by the General Officer Commanding the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam.

Residents of the coastal community are said to have fled to neighbouring Ughelli for fear of reprisals by the soldiers who have been patrolling the creeks.

Chronicle NG reported that fourteen lifeless bodies of killed soldiers were recovered in the early hours of Saturday by soldiers of the joint task force under the supervision of the General Officer Commanding 6 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam, at Okuama community, in the Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Some of the recovered corpses were said to have been beheaded, while the stomachs and hearts of others were ripped off.

At the NDDC jetty in the coastal Delta community, the bodies of the commanding officer and the two killed majors were seen floating by the river bank as others were separated on land.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa, has ordered a probe into the tragic killing of four senior officers and 12 soldiers.

It was gathered that the slain military personnel responded to a distress call after the communal crisis between the Okuama and Okoloba communities, both in Delta State, before they were killed on Thursday, March 14.

Confirming the incident in a statement on Saturday, the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, said the victims were surrounded by some community youths when troops of the 181 Amphibious Battalion were on a peace mission in the Bomadi Local Government Area of the state.

“The unfortunate incident occurred when the troops responded to a distress call after the communal crisis between the Okuama and Okoloba communities, both in Delta State,” the statement read.

“The reinforcement team led by the commanding officer was also attacked, leading to the deaths of the commanding officer, two majors, one captain, and 12 soldiers.”

The defence spokesman said the incident has been reported to the Delta State Government, adding that the CDS has also directed that the culprits be unmasked.

According to him, some suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

He also reiterated the commitment of the military to its mandate of maintaining peace and security in various parts of the country.

“The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Gwabin Musa, has directed the immediate investigation and arrest of those involved in the heinous crime. The occurrence has been reported to the Delta State Government.

“However, the military remains focused and committed to its mandate of maintaining peace and security in the country. So far, a few arrests have been made while steps have been taken to unravel the motive behind the attack.”

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