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Search of Avengers: The Aftermath of Soldiers’ Invasion of Bayelsa Communities

Men of the Nigerian Army on Monday invaded Shine-Shine community in Nembe local council of Bayelsa State in search of members of militant group, popularly known as Niger Delta Avengers.

While the soldiers were not able to make any arrest, the people of the community were left in pains as houses, churches and schools were set on fire.

An indigene of the community, Chief Dede Francis, who spoke on phone with the Guardian correspondent said, “We tried talking to them, but it was futile. After hours of intimidation, they told us that some suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers were chased into our community. They claimed there were exchanges of gunfire with their personnel by the suspected Avengers from the community.”

Francis, however, revealed that after the departure of the invading soldiers, the alleged suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers made an attempt on the life of the community head, accusing him of selling them to the soldiers.

In a statement, the authorities of the Joint Task Force code named Operation Delta Safe (ODS) confirmed that they went to the community in search of militants, but did not destroy the community as alleged.

An earlier statement dated November 8, 2016, on the activities of troops in Bayelsa and signed by the Coordinator of its Joint Media Centre, Lt. Col. Laolu Dawodu, stated that the military troops in conjunction with own Special Forces conducted patrols to Sand-sand fishing camp in Bayelsa State and came upon suspected militants who had re-grouped to resuscitate a camp earlier destroyed.

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