Killing of 16 soldiers: Delta community razed, youths fled for fear of reprisal  

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Port Harcourt, March 17, 2024 – The Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, where 16 soldiers were killed by youths on Thursday, has turned to a ghost town.

Many houses in the community have been burnt, while the youths have fled for fear of reprisal attacks.

Nobody has ascertained the perpetrators, but some blame some soldiers that have been patrolling the creeks for the arson.

The Defence Headquarters has confirmed the killings of the 16 soldiers and has ordered the immediate arrest and investigation of all those involved.

The soldiers were allegedly ambushed and murdered by youths on Thursday when the troops went to quell violence between the people of Okuoma and Okoloba.

According to reports, 14 lifeless bodies of killed soldiers were recovered in the early hours of Saturday by soldiers of the joint task force under the supervision of the General Officer Commanding 6 division Nigerian Army, Major General Jamal Abdussalam.

Some of the recovered corpses were said to have been beheaded, while the stomachs and hearts were ripped open.

At the NDDC jetty, the bodies of the commanding officer and the two killed majors were seen floating by the river bank.

The slain military men had responded to a distress call after a communal crisis between the Okuama and Okoloba communities.

Brig-Gen.Tukur Gusau, the Acting Director of Defence Information, said in a statement on Saturday that the victims were surrounded by some community youths when troops of the 181 Amphibious Battalion were on a peace mission in the Bomadi Local Government Area of the state.

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

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

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