The troops of 343 Artillery Regiment of 2 Brigade, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army carried out patrol within the general area of Gulobokri and Eweleso around Brass area in Bayelsa State in the early hours of today.
Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said that the patrol team had an encounter with some armed militants in two speed boats with intent to blow up Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) pipeline at Gulobokri.
Usman revealed that the suspected vandals opened fire on the patrol team, though the troops responded with overwhelming superior firepower, which led to the suspected criminals speeding off from the area with many of them sustaining gunshot wounds.
He said that no casualty was recorded on the part of the patrol team, but a personnel of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attached to the team sustained gunshot wound.
"He has since been evacuated and he is in a stable condition."
Meanwhile, the Army spokesman added that another patrol team of the same unit of 82 Division Nigerian Army on patrol to Perigbene House Boat (HB) encountered three speed boats suspected to be containing militants about to attack another critical infrastructure in the area.
He said that the troops opened fire on them, killing most of them and wounded others. According to him, the casualty on militants cannot be ascertained as it was raining heavily and the raging storm could not allow troops to go in pursuit of the escaping criminals.
"A mop-up operation has been organised for those militants that escaped with gunshot wounds and injuries as they may be receiving treatment in the neighbouring communities.
"With this development, troops would continue to intensify patrol in the general area to avert further vandalism or attack in the area."