Killing of soldiers on duty unacceptable —Buratai

· As military vows to apprehend culprits

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, has described the killing of some soldiers and airmen on lawful duty in Bosso, Niger State, by suspected gun runners as unacceptable.

Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday, shortly after addressing personnel at the 332 Artillery Regiment in Shendam, Buratai, said the incident would not deter the military from carrying out its lawful duties.

“What happened in Bosso is highly unfortunate,” he said, noting that the troops were on a mission to recover arms hidden in communities in the area when they were ambushed and killed.

“But instead of them (gun runners) to be law-abiding, they took the law into their hands and attack the troops.

“We have the mandate to bring the situation under control, we are working with the police to make sure that we keep our society free of criminalities,” the chief of army staff said.

It will be recalled that the army in a statement on Saturday, said eight of its soldiers and two airmen were ambushed and killed in Bosso, during a raid on hideout of suspected gun runners.

Spokesman of the army, Colonel Sani Usman, however, said the military killed eight of the suspected bandits and arrested 57 others.

On his visit to the regiment and other military formations in the state, Buratai said it was “routine” and to find out challenges of the troops in order to address them.

Meanwhile, the Joint Military Force deployed to the Niger Delta has vowed to apprehend the militants who attacked its base and killed the three soldiers at Nembe jetty, on Monday.

This was contained in a statement by Lt.-Cdr. Abdulrashid Ahmed, acting spokesman of Operation Delta Safe, in Yenagoa, on Tuesday.

Ahmed said the troops had been reinforced to fish out the militants.

“Some suspected gunmen believed to be militants, at about 10: a.m on August 8, 2016 attacked 343 Artillery Regiment, a detachment of Operation Delta Safe deployed at Nembe Jetty in Bayelsa State.

“During the incidence, three soldiers lost their lives.

“The Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, has consequently deployed reinforcement team to apprehend the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said.

Ahmed quoted the commander of the joint force as warning that henceforth, Operation Delta Safe would go on offensive to fish out all criminals in the region.

He attributed the attack by militants to the ongoing operations of the troop to flush out all forms of criminality, especially pipeline vandalism and destruction of illegal refinery within the region.