Three expatriates kidnapped by suspected pirates along the creeks of Sigbene community, in Burutu council area of Delta state, have reportedly regained their freedom.
A joint security operation, which embarked on a manhunt for the suspects, was said to have effected their release.
It was learnt that many of the hoodlums involved in the killing of four naval ratings and abduction of the three foreigners died in the combined rescue operation on Sunday.
According to government sources, who pleaded for anonymity, as they were not authorised to comment on the incident, the two Russians and one Indian, were rescued unhurt.
Also, the stolen vessel, MV AMBIKA, said to be working for an international oil firm, has been recovered.
“The incident actually happened at Sigbene near Agge. Both state governments have been collaborating with the military to ensure the rescue of the victims.
“An agreement was also reached between the trio to keep mum over the issue upon their release. This is a top security issue. They were rescued unhurt,” a government source disclosed.
A military source, who confirmed the development late Monday said: “They were rescued yesterday (Sunday). Many of the sea pirates were killed during the process. The vessel has been seen as well.”
Meanwhile, efforts to get the Base Information Officer, Sb Lt. S. Bala, to comment on the issue proved futile as continuous calls and a message to his phone lines went unanswered.
The Navy Director of Information, Commodore Suleiman Dahun, also failed to respond to enquiries.
Four naval ratings were shot dead and three foreign nationals abducted in the creeks of Delta, near Bayelsa state last Thursday.
It was gathered that the deceased naval personnel, deployed from the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, were escorting the vessel when the tragic incident occurred.