Suspected pirates in the Niger Delta region at the weekend continued to unleash attacks on barges and boats along the Nembe waterways in Bayelsa,abducting six oil workers and four policemen.
SaharaReporters gathered that the pirates have also dispossessed the policemen of a gunboat during the attack.
Two separate attacks reportedly occurred on Friday sending shockwaves down the spines of coastal communities and boat operators as the security sources appeared to be unable to match the firepower of the pirates.
While the Police spokesman said he was on official duty in Abuja and unaware of developments in his station, the Bayelsa state Police Commissioner said he was busy in a meeting when contacted for comments.
The ill-fated gunboat was escorting a barge owned by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) when it was attacked.
The sea pirates who operated on a speedboat that ambushed the gunboat and suddenly opened fire on the policemen.
The pirates overpowered the police and later took control of the gunboat between Santa Barbara and Nembe waterways in Bayelsa.
A source in the Joint Task Force said the Agip barge and its occupants were not the target of the gunmen, rather the gunboat, and the gunboat driver was among kidnapped after the boat was hijacked.
The gunboat and the three police escorts and the boat operator were all kidnapped and are believed to have died.
“The barge and its occupants escaped because the gunboat was the target of the pirates.
“This incident happened along Santa Barbara and Nembe route at about 1.30pm. The pirates were after the gunboat and the police arms,” the security source said
Also in a separate incident, six personnel aboard a boat of an oil services company, Icon Xearex were abducted at Oluasiri in Nembe axis of Bayelsa on Friday.
“Six persons were abducted from the boat belonging to that company; the source said.