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Soldiers Massacre: We’ve Narrow Investigations To Persons Of Interest And Their Cohorts – DHQ

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Says weapons, decomposed heart of some slain soldiers recovered

The Nigeria Defence Headquarters, on Friday, said it has recovered the weapons of soldiers killed in Okuama community, Ughelli South local government area of Delta State as well as the decomposing hearts of some of the killed soldiers.

The military high command, also said it has narrowed it investigations over the killing of the officers and soldiers to persons of interest and their cohorts and therefore urged the Delta State government and communities leaders not to shield the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

According to the Director Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, who disclosed this, the recoveries were made during the ongoing clearance operation and cordon and search currently ongoing in Okuama and its environ.

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He listed the communities were the clearance operation took place in Delta and Bayelsa to includ, Akugbene, Okuama and Okoloba Communities in Ughelli South and Bomadi councils of Delta State respectively as well as Amusamo, Akwagbe, Arhavwarien, Pirigbene and Igbomatoro community in Bayelsa and Delta State.

The military personnel who were in the community on a peace-keeping mission to resolve communal clash over a land dispute between Okuama in Ughelli South and Okoloba in Bomadi local government area of the state, were murdered by irate youths.

However, Defence Headquarters said that manhunt for the perpetrators of heinous crime would continued but “no significant arrest yet made”.

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“Troops have continued a manhunt for the perpetrators of the barbaric killing of 18 soldiers that occurred on 14 Mar 24.

“Accordingly, clearance operations as well as cordon and search were conducted to among other things recover the weapons of the deceased soldiers”.

“The decomposing hearts of some of the killed soldiers were recovered during search”.

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Speaking on a viral video trending on social media of a man who took responsibility for the killing of the soldiers, Buba said that the Army got a clue from the video and had zeroed their investigation to some specific person’s as prime suspects.

“Significantly, there is a viral video of person admitting to have perpetrated the killings of the soldier in Delta State.

“The video among other things helps to narrow investigations to persons of interest and their cohorts.

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“Accordingly, the state governments and host communities of these personalities are required to assist instigation in flushing them out.

“There can be no hiding place for perpetrators of such dastardly act against our nation.

“This is a clarion call to duty by members of those communities and the state governments”, he said.

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Meanwhile, troops in the Niger Delta area have discovered and destroyed 51 dugout pits, 17 boats, 15 storage tanks and 4 vehicles.

Other items recovered include 21 cooking ovens, 3 pumping machines and 40 illegal refining sites.

Troops recovered 772,350 litres of stolen crude oil, 80,530 litres of illegally refined AGO and 1,500 litres of DPK.

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Speaking on the successes of the ongoing counter-insurgency and counter terrorist operation across the country, he said that the Nigeria Army would intensified it fight for our sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation.

According to him, troops would continue to put themselves in harms way in order protect and secure the citizens of this country.

“Consequent upon these operations, troops rescued several kidnapped hostages reunited them with their loved ones. Troops also disrupted untoward activities of terrorist, thereby preventing them from carrying out acts of terror or harming citizens.

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“Across theatres of operation in the country. Troops during the week neutralised 106 terrorist and made 103 arrest. Troops also arrested 22 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 96 kidnapped hostages. In the SS, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of Seven Hundred and and Fifty Four Million One Hundred and Forty Nine Thousand and Six Hundred Naira (N754,149,600.00) only.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 171 assorted weapons and 2,452 assorted ammunition. The breakdown as follows: 47 AK47 rifles, one PKT gun, 18 pump action rifles, 17 locally fabricated guns, 14 dane guns, 12 locally fabricated pistols, one fabricated revolver, one hand grenade, 81mm mortar bomb, one mortar tube and 4 bandoliers

“Others are: 995 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 468 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 317 live cartridges, 125 rounds of 9mm ammo, 313 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm ammo, 13 rounds of 7.62 x 51mm, 19 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm, 167 empty shells of 7.62mm special ammo, 45 empty shells of 7.62mm NATO, 72 empty cases of cartridges, 14 magazines, 10 vehicles, 23 motorcycles, 19 mobile phones, one bicycles, 4 baofeng radios, and the sum of N112,920.00 amongst other items”.

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