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Swathes of Okuoma in Delta State Razed As Army Intensifies Manhunt For Culprits of 16 Soldiers’ Death

Afraid of retaliatory attacks by the Army for the murder of 16 soldiers, residents of Okuama have fled to Ughelli.

A large part of the Okuoma community in Delta State, Nigeria, has been set ablaze following the tragic killing of 16 soldiers, with strong allegations pointing to angry soldiers in a retaliatory attack.

Led by Major General Jamal Abdussalam, soldiers from the 6th Division Nigerian Army are currently conducting a widespread manhunt to capture the perpetrators of the gruesome murders. 

Several arrests have already been made in connection with the incident.

Afraid of retaliatory attacks, residents of the community have fled to Ughelli for safety as soldiers continue to patrol the creeks.

The aftermath of the attack was discovered early Saturday, with soldiers recovering fourteen lifeless bodies of their killed colleagues.

While some were found beheaded, others had their stomachs and hearts ripped out.

Among the deceased were four senior officers and twelve soldiers, including the commanding officer and two majors. 

Their bodies were found scattered along the NDDC jetty and river banks, showing the extent of the brutality.

The slain military personnel had responded to a distress call stemming from a communal crisis between Okuoma and Okoloba communities in Delta State.

In response to the incident, in a statement issued on Saturday, the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig Gen Tukur Gusau, said the CDS, General Musa, has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident. 

He said the incident has also been reported to the Delta State government.

The statement read: “The troops of 181 Amphibious Battalion, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State while on a peace mission to Okuoma community in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State were surrounded by some community youths and killed on Thursday, 14 March 2024.

“The unfortunate incident occurred when the troops responded to a distress call after the communal crisis between the Okuoma and Okoloba communities both in Delta State.

“The reinforcement team led by the commanding officer was also attacked, leading to the death of the commanding officer, two majors, one captain, and 12 soldiers.

“The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, has directed the immediate investigation and arrest of those involved in the heinous crime,” it said.

Chioma Kalu

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