Army Invades Rivers Community Over Alleged Killing Of Two Soldiers By Sea Pirates.
Kingdom in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, following the invasion of the area by armed men believed to be troops of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday morning.
It was gathered that the fully armed military personnel stormed the community to harass, assault and arrest residents.
Videos obtained by SaharaReporters show soldiers trying to forcibly access homes in the community. They also show as some residents were arrested by military personnel.
A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “Sea pirates attacked the community boats and killed some of our kinsmen travelling to Port Harcourt. They also exchanged fire with men of the Nigerian Army and killed some soldiers. Now the army is invading communities in that area harassing and beating innocent people.
“We also lost some of our people in the pirate attack.”
SaharaReporters gathered from another resident that the pirates had attacked a commercial ship. They reportedly killed one passenger and injured others during the attack before they headed to a military checkpoint, where they also killed two personnel of the Nigerian Army.
Daerefaa Braide, media aide to the Chairman of the local government area, said the invasion could be connected to the death of two officers of the Nigerian Army who were allegedly killed by sea pirates last Friday.
He, however, added that he could not confirm if soldiers were killed.
Another resident of the community, Garrick Ibima, also told SaharaReporters that the soldiers laid siege to the community for hours and harassed residents following the recent attack by sea pirates.
Ibima said, “The soldiers started the siege on Monday at Touma community before they came to Bille this morning. They used machetes to break into people’s houses and tried to do mass arrests.
“Many of our youths were forced to hide to evade the arrest,” he added.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time the residents of the community would witness an invasion either from the sea pirates or the operatives of the Nigerian Army.
For instance, in 2019, pirates dressed in military camouflage reportedly took over the waterways of Bille Kingdom, killing, maiming and robbing natives and travellers, including security operatives and politicians, on the waterways.
Also, in 2017, it was widely reported that security personnel alleged to be operatives of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, stormed the community with heavy weapons and burnt houses.
They also reportedly left several people with bullet wounds.
Source | SaharareportersSaharareporters