Men of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta shot dead one person on Saturday in Bayelsa, the force’s spokesman, Lt-Col Timothy Antigha, has confirmed.
According to a statement in Yenagoa signed by Antigha, the deceased, who was a youth suspected to be a hired mercenary, was shot when the JTF came under an attack.
He said in the statement made available to newsmen that the attack was masterminded by some youths from the state’s Ekeremor Local Council Area.
“In the early hours of Saturday, a JTF gunboat which was deployed at Ekeremor waterside came under fire from unknown people in two speed boats.
“ In the ensuing exchange of fire, the JTF troops shot dead one suspect, while the others abandoned their boats and escaped,” the statement said.
Antigha said items recovered from the suspects included one speed boat, one burnt speed boat, one 75-horse power Yamaha outboat engine.
Others are one walkie-talkie handset, two magazines, three locally-made bottle dynamites, 56 x 5.56 mm and 5 x 7.62 mm ammunition, among other items.
“The JTF believes that the suspects might have been hired by certain people to subvert the electoral process somewhere and that the suspects were heading for their destination when they met the JTF patrol team.
“ The JTF cannot confirm the number of suspects at the time of the incident,” the statement said.