JTF, Police repel pirates’ attack in Bayelsa

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Joint Task Force (JTF) and Police in Niger Delta said on Thursday it repelled attack by suspected pirates on a flow station at Ogboinbiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Marine Division of the police and the JTF engaged the pirates in a gun battle in Gbarain and Ogboinbiri on Wednesday night.

Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, Mr Hilary Okpara, and spokesman for JTF, Lt. Col. Mustapha Anka, said the efforts of the security operatives foiled the pirate’s attempt to overrun a flow station in Ogboinbiri.

Anka said a staff of Lonestar, an oil service company working in the facility operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, sustained gunshot injury during the operation.

On his part, Okpara said some sea pirates were killed in the shootout, adding however that the number of casualties could not be ascertained as the bodies sank.

Opara said the pirates had attacked the rig at Gbarain with the intention of cutting the chain used to secure the gunboat to the rig.

He said the pirates would have stolen the gunboat and removed the police’ guns if they had succeeded.

The commissioner said the incident took place at odd hours of Wednesday, adding that the suspected pirates, who came in a speedboat, first opened fire on his men.

“Very soon, their corpses would surely float on the waters. The pirates came with electric filing tools and a generator.

“Their aim was to use the generator to power the machine that would be used to severe the chain used for securing the gunboat to the rig.

“The men attached to the rig were there. After serious exchange of fire, the pirates abandoned the rig.

“The pirates came back around 6:00 a.m., probably thinking our men had gone. When they sighted our men, they ran back,” Okpara said.

He added that the pirates abandoned one of their speedboats loaded with generator and electrical tools among other implement.

He said the security men who sustained minor injuries were already receiving treatment.

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