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Friday, July 19, 2024

CDS Orders Manhunt For Killers Of 16 Nigerian Soldiers In Delta

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, has issued a stern directive in response to a tragic incident that unfolded in Okuoma community, Ughelli South Local Government Area (LGA) of Delta State. The directive entails the immediate arrest and thorough investigation of the perpetrators behind the killing of military personnel who were deployed to maintain peace amidst a communal crisis.

The incident, which occurred on March 14, 2024, saw the loss of several valuable lives, including a commanding officer, two majors, a captain, and 12 soldiers from the 181 Amphibious Battalion stationed in Bomadi LGA, Delta State. These brave individuals were on a noble mission to quell the unrest stemming from a longstanding conflict between the Okuoma and Okoloba communities within the state.

According to reports, the troops responded to a distress call following heightened tensions between the two communities. However, upon arrival, they were met with hostility as they found themselves surrounded by youths from the Okuoma community, resulting in a tragic loss of lives. Even the reinforcement team, led by the commanding officer, was not spared from the violence, leading to further casualties.

General Musa, expressing deep concern over the incident, swiftly ordered the initiation of an investigation to apprehend all those involved in the heinous crime. Furthermore, the Delta State government has been informed of the situation, underscoring the gravity of the matter and the collaborative efforts required to address it comprehensively.

Despite this unfortunate turn of events, the military remains resolute in its commitment to upholding peace and security across the nation. Efforts are underway to apprehend the perpetrators, with initial arrests already made. The motive behind the attack is yet to be fully understood, but authorities are determined to uncover the truth and deliver justice to the victims and their families.

The sequence of events leading to the tragedy began with a rescue mission initiated by the Bomadi Division of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in response to the abduction of a youth from the Okoloba community. This mission, intended to alleviate tensions, tragically culminated in the loss of lives of military personnel who courageously sought to restore calm to the embattled region.

Eyewitness accounts shed light on the ambush, highlighting the vulnerability of the military personnel who were caught off guard while returning from a negotiation session aimed at securing the release of the kidnapped youth. The assailants, launching a deadly assault, inflicted significant casualties, including the abduction of several officers who were subsequently taken to an undisclosed location.

The aftermath of the attack revealed the devastating toll it had taken, with 22 military officers and men confirmed dead, including high-ranking officials and dedicated soldiers. Additionally, the lifeless body of the abducted youth was discovered near the River Forcados, underscoring the tragic consequences of the escalating conflict.

As investigations continue and efforts to restore peace intensify, the nation mourns the loss of these courageous individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Their dedication and bravery serve as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by those tasked with maintaining law and order in volatile regions.

In the wake of this tragedy, it is imperative that all stakeholders work together to address the underlying issues fueling the communal tensions and prevent further loss of life. The resolve of the military remains unwavering, but lasting peace can only be achieved through dialogue, understanding, and collective action to address the root causes of conflict.

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