Three soldiers attached to the Joint Military Force to protect oil facilities in the Niger Delta were confirmed dead after a gun duel with pirates and militants, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson for the force which is popularly known as “Operation Pulo Shield’, Colonel Isa Ado, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that the incident occurred on Monday night.
Mr. Ado said the shooting took place in Foropa, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, where troops had been stationed since 2010.
He said that the military patrol team was attacked by a combined team of suspected militants and sea pirates, but that the team fought gallantly to ward off the attack.
“The location came under fierce attack and three of our soldiers, who were hit by bullets, died on their way to the hospital.
“There were so many casualties on the side of the militants, but we cannot precisely know the number.
“The morale of the troops remains high and the sacrifices of these soldiers shall never be in vain; we remain resolute in our determination to stamp out oil theft and illegalities in the Niger Delta region.
“These soldiers gave their lives for peace in the Niger Delta,” Ado said.