No fewer than seven persons are feared killed in Isia-Ama community of Oluasiri in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State as two militant groups engaged in a bloody clash.
A community source, who craved anonymity for fear of attack by the hoodlums, said the two groups suspected to be those of militant and kidnap gangs engaged in a shootout at about 7:45 pm on Wednesday.
The source said during the gun duel, seven residents were allegedly killed by stray bullets from the hoodlums’ guns while the whereabouts of other victims have yet to be known.
He said the community members were still searching for the missing persons within the community as of Thursday morning.
The police authorities in the state confirmed the clash that resulted in indiscriminate gunshots in the community for hours.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Command, SP Asinim Butswat, in a statement on Thursday, said the police and other sister security agencies were making concerted efforts to identify the militant groups.
He also said that investigation was on to ascertain if there were casualties, adding that further information would be made available at the end of the investigation.
Butswat said: “The Bayelsa State Police Command in synergy with other sister security agencies in the state has commenced investigations into the sporadic gunshots witnessed at Oluasiri, Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
“Information at the disposal of the Bayelsa State Police Command revealed that on 19 August, 2020, at about 1945 hours, there were sporadic gunshots witnessed by the residents of Oluasiri community in Nembe LGA. It is believed that the gunshots were as a result of a clash by rival militant groups in the creeks of Oluasiri community.
“The Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mike Okoli, wishes to reassure members of the public that a joint operation by security agencies is ongoing to fish out the perpetrators and ensure the safety of lives of residents of the community and the protection of critical infrastructures.”