Suspected vandals on Sunday attacked and killed one soldier and two officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, guarding Shell Petroleum facilities at Gio Community in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.

In the early hours of the day of the attack, troops of 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army, NA, in conjunction with personnel of the NSCDC guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Trans National Pipelines at Gio community in Tai Local Government Area, LGA, of Rivers State were attacked by suspected militants.

A statement signed by the spokesperson for the Army, Colonel Aminu Ilyasu said the bunkers who are also militants were earlier prevented from vandalizing 24″ and 28″ TNP thereby putting them out of the illicit business.

It said that during the ensuing fight one soldier and two personnel of the NSCDC were killed and their weapons (one AK 47 and 2 G3 rifles) were carted away by the assailants.

According to him an immediate reinforcement by troops at the location led to the cordon and search of the general area with the view to finding any criminal believed to be harbouring within the communities.

“Reliable intelligence led to the tracking of the prime suspect, a notorious cultist and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele Loveday who has been on the wanted list of the security agencies for terrorizing communities in the state,” it added.

Stating further, “Consequently, at about 9:00 am, troops cashing on available information sighted a white Toyota Hilux vehicle without a number plate, hastily driven with 4 occupants. Efforts to stop the vehicle by troops at a checkpoint was ignored. The gallant troops chased the speeding vehicle and caught up with the suspects around Kira Junction, along Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic.”

He added that occupants opened fire at the troops in a bid to escape. Troops reacted, and ‘incapacitated the militants’ vehicle. This according to a source, forced the bandits to abandon their vehicle and fled to the bush.

One of the suspected criminals was gunned down and was identified as the wanted notorious cultist and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele – popularly known as MENE.

Others with him were believed to escape with gunshot wounds; leaving trails of blood.

Items recovered from the scene and in the vehicle:, 1 x K2 Rifle, 2 x Magazines loaded with 52 Rounds of 5.56mm, some personal effects, one pair of vehicle plate number KRK 95DP RIVERS and some documents.

The body and other recovered exhibits have been handed over to the NSCDC Rivers State Command for further action, while troops continue to track the remaining fleeing bandits to face justice.

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