Pipeline vandals at the Arepo area of Ogun State, yesterday allegedly killed ten operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in what was described as a ‘bloody encounter’.
The Guardian gathered that vandals, numbering over 20 and clad in black shirts and trousers, with red bands tied around their heads stormed Arepo creeks where they broke a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
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They reportedly loaded over eight trucks with the siphoned petroleum product, while their members drove the trucks through Konu.
There were however different versions as to how the DSS operatives were killed.
One side of the account had it that the operatives who acted on tip off stormed Konu, to effect the arrest of the vandals and the trucks loads of petroleum product, but unknown to them, they ran into vandals who had laid ambush for any intruder. The vandals were said to have opened fire on the unsuspecting DSS operatives, killing nine of them on the spot.
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Another account had it that the operatives had gone to Ikorodu to attend the social wake-keep of one of their colleagues. Apparently thinking the SSS personnel were in the vicinity to effect their arrest, the vandals reportedly opened fire on them.
The exact number of operatives that left for the operation could however not be ascertained.
Another report had it that the miscreants had already vandalized one of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines in the area and were siphoning fuel, when the DSS operatives arrived the scene and engaged them in a shoot-out.
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It is however, yet unclear how the vandals got wind of the arrival of DSS operatives as the oil thieves used an element of surprise to overwhelm them. When the gun duel ended, the bodies of the operatives littered the area and as at 3.00pm yesterday, their operational vehicle was still there.
It was reported that there was pandemonium on Tuesday on Ishawo Road, Ikorodu area of Lagos State, after seven operatives of the Department of State Services were killed during an encounter with suspected pipeline vandals.
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According to the report, the incident on Ishawo road happened at about 8.00pm.
It is the second time in two weeks that the vandals would unleash mayhem on security operatives in that area.
On August 30, 2015, four policemen from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and Owutu Police Division were attacked.
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Three of the policemen were killed, while one was critically injured. Lagos State Police Command spokesman, Mr. Offor told The Guardian that they have not received any confirmed report on the incident.
“We don’t know whether anyone was killed, we do not know whether any SSS operative was also killed. What we know is that there were skirmishes in that area yesterday night,” he said.