The Police in Bayelsa have confirmed the death of 12 policemen on escort duties in Bayelsa waterway on Friday. The ill-fated boat was heading to Azuzuama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area for the burial of the mother of Mr Kile Torughedi.
Torughedi is a Special Assistant to Bayelsa Governor on Maritime Security.
Mr Kingsley Omire, the Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, confirmed the death at a news conference in Yenagoa on Sunday. He said that a search party had been drafted to the site and gave assurance that efforts were being made by divers to recover the bodies of the policemen.
He dismissed speculations that the attack was from MEND, which had earlier threatened to resume attacks. The commissioner said preliminary investigations showed that some disgruntled elements within the fold of the ex-militants were behind the attack and expressed regrets that the policemen were merely ``soft targets’’ in the attack, where two of the 14 policemen survived.
The policemen were deployed from the Command headquarters in Yenagoa to escort dignitaries to a burial in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
However, the boat conveying the policemen to the burial reportedly came under attack mid sea when it developed a fault.
The yet to be identified gunmen shot and killed the 12 policemen, whose remains have yet to be recovered.