By Samuel Oyadongha & Dayo Johnson
YENAGOA—Some members of a militant group that killed an army captain and two policemen at Ikorodu, Lagos State, last month, have been confirmed killed by troops of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, code named Operation Delta Safe, Sunday night.
The militants were reportedly gunned down in an attack on troops’ location around Ajakpa community in the creeks of Southern Ondo State, led by the gang leader, Ossy Ibori.
According to a statement by the Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Operation Delta Safe, Major Abubakar Abdullahi, the gang leader, Ossy, was gunned down during the gun battle, along with some of his gang members.
Abdullahi said the body of the gang leader was identified by some of the locals in the area, adding “search for other criminals, who jumped into the water with gunshot wounds, is ongoing as troops had recovered one AK-47 rifle and four magazines.”
The special security forces in the statement recalled that criminal gangs led by late Ossy Ibori have been terrorising parts of Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states prior to the operation.
It said: “They committed many atrocities, threatening the peace and security of the general area. Last month, the gang killed an Army Captain and two policemen in Ikorodu.
“Late last year they abducted students and staff of a secondary school. They also carried out several attacks at Ese-Odo around Ajakpa, Safarogbo and Balowo areas.”
JTF also confirmed the death of a soldier during the clash, with three others sustaining gunshot wounds and moved to military hospital.
The statement said: “The need to flush them out from their hideout became necessary to ensure peace and security in Ondo State. Sadly in the process, one gallant soldier paid the supreme price, while three others sustained wounds.” They have since been moved to military hospital for proper medical attention.
“While the operation is ongoing, let me appeal to law-abiding residents of the affected communities to remain calm, vigilant and support our troops with valuable information on the whereabouts of other criminals.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, confirmed the killing to newsmen yesterday, while identifying the suspect as OC.
Owoseni said the incident was part of efforts to apprehend members of the gang and other criminals that had made lived miserable for Nigerians.
He said that the gang retreated back to their base in Ijapa in Ondo State because they could no longer lay claim to the creeks in Isawo area, Ikorodu.
Also reacting, Ondo State Police command said Naval authorities have deployed gunboats and other security apparatus to the troubled areas.
The command image maker, Femi Joseph, ýtold Vanguard that normalcy had returned to the riverine communities.
Joseph appealed to residents to go about their duties as security agencies are determined to rid the southern senatorial district of the state of criminals.
A very reliable source had disclosed that the deceased was lured out of the creeks, where he was hiding with others, by his girlfriend.
The source added: “Unknown to him that the military operatives had been monitoring their movement and activities.
“As soon as he came out to meet his girlfriend, the soldiers were around him and as he tried to escape, he was gunned down.”
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