The soldiers numbering over 50 were said to be searching for suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers
The military has began a special operation tagged Operation Crocodile Smile carried against insurgents in the oil rich Niger Delta region.
The crackdown on militants by the army in the Niger Delta region intensified on Wednesday, September 7, after armed soldiers invaded three communities in Bayelsa state.
According to the Sun, the communities where the military raid was carried include; Peremabiri, Akamabugo and Tikogbene in southern Ijaw local government council area.
The military offensive is believed to be part of special Operation Crocodile Smile being carried out by the army against insurgents in the oil rich Niger Delta region.
The soldiers numbering over 50 said they were searching for suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers and ended up beating up two youth leaders, Pastor Lucky and Bernard Ogunawei, into a state of coma
Witnesses said Bernard was later released with grievious injuries, Pastor Lucky was arrested and taken to an unknown destination.
The soldiers reportedly destroyed over 43 houses and carted away three speed boats during the operation.
Also destroyed in the attack were family homes of front line former militant leader, Comrade Eris Paul popularly known along the creeks and waterways as General Ogunboss, Million Gobo, Richard Marcus, Elkenah, Bernard Osunawei and many others.
However, concerned indigenes of Peremabiri Community have alleged that some influential politicians in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were behind the invasion.
This was the stance of General Ogunboss, who said finding by his kinsmen revealed that the invasion was ordered by PDP chieftains following the political loyalty of the community to the All Progressive Congress (APC) during the last Governorship election in the state.
He also called on the minister of defence, the chief of army staff and President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the invasion.
Meanwhile, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), one of the militant groups operating in oil-rich region, said that at least 20 soldiers died during the military operation “Crocodile smile”.
The group in a statement signed by its spokesman Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo and made available to NAIJ.com offered their condolences to the families and Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, C-In-C of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the soldiers murdered in the current military operation.