JTF, Police Repel Attack On Oil Installation In Bayelsa

This is the second attack in that area in the last week.

Gunmen on Wednesday struck in the Bayelsa waterways, following last week’s attack which left three people dead.

The Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta, however, said it repelled the attacks by the suspected pirates on a flow station at Ogboinbiri, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.

The Marine Division of Bayelsa Police and the JTF engaged the attackers in a gun battle in Gbarain and Ogboinbiri communities of the area on Wednesday night.

The Bayelsa Police Commissioner, Hilary Okpara, and the JTF spokesperson, Mustapha Anka, a lieutenant-colonel, both confirmed that a combined effort of the security operatives foiled the attempt to overrun the flow station in Ogboinbiri.

The JTF spokesperson said that a staff of Lonestar, an oil service company, working in the facility operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, sustained a gunshot injury during the operation.

The police commissioner, however, said that some pirates were killed in the shootout but said that the number of casualties could not be ascertained as the bodies sank into the waters.

Mr. Okpara said the pirates had attacked the rig at Gbarain with the intention of cutting the chain used to secure the gunboat to the rig.

He said if they had succeeded, they would have stolen the gunboat and eventually removed the police guns.

The commissioner said the incident took place in the early hours of Wednesday. He said the suspected pirates, who came in a speedboat, first opened fire on his men.

“In no distant time, the bodies of the dead pirates would surely float on the waters. The pirates came with electric filing tools and a generator. Their aim of coming with those tools was to use the generator to power the machine that would be used to severe the chain used for securing the gunboat to the rig.

“The men attached to the rig were there. After a serious exchange of fire, the pirates abandoned the rig. The pirates again came back around 6 am, probably thinking our men had gone. When they sighted our men, they ran back and some swam in the river to escape,” Mr. Okpara said.

Some of the security operatives reportedly sustained minor injuries after the incident.

The pirates abandoned one of their speedboats loaded with a generator as well as electrical tools and implements.

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