MEND DECLARES WAR
Following the raid of its camps in Niger Delta region by operatives of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) has instructed its members to attack more oil installations as well as take more hostages.
In a statement by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, MEND said that the order for increased attack on oil installations would be a prelude to total war on oil facilities in Niger Delta region.
“Our fighters have been instructed to carry out more raids on oil installations, from where fresh hostages will be taken,” MEND said in the statement.
MEND boasted of attacking gunboats owned by the military on Thursday, in Warri, Delta State, following a tip-off by its intelligence unit.
“Our units ambushed the convoy of Nigerian army gunboats at Ayakoromo, in Delta State and the convoy was literally decimated,” it said.
The militant group confirmed that operatives of the JTF invaded a camp where it held some people hostage and rescued them. It said that the hostages were being guarded by a few of its members, who retreated when soldiers arrived in order not to endanger the lives of the hostages.
The statement said: “As a result of the bombings by the Nigerian military of camps and communities, hostages earlier taken from oil installations were kept in a community to ensure their safety.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) confirms that there was indeed, a raid on this particular community by the Nigerian military, which had been tipped off by certain persons from this community.
“The hostages were guarded by only a few of our fighters, who retreated in order to prevent an exchange of fire that would have endangered the lives of these hostages. However, our fighters have been instructed to carry out more raids on oil installations from where fresh hostages will be taken.
“Also, at about 0300hrs, on Thursday, November 18, 2010, our units, in Delta State, in the Niger Delta, received intelligence report of the movement of 14 gunboats of the Nigerian military, heading towards one of our camps in Delta State. Our units ambushed the convoy of Nigerian army gunboats at Ayakoromo, in Delta State and the convoy was literally decimated.
“Reports reaching us from the General Hospital, Warri, in Delta State, indicate that 10 soldiers were brought in dead and 18 seriously injured. A large number of Nigerian soldiers were reported by our fighters to have drowned. A large number of weapons, which include Browning machine guns, RPG launchers, general-purpose machine guns, assault rifles and ammunition were retrieved by our fighters following the ambush.
“As earlier promised, we will soon commence an all-out attack on oil installations across the Niger Delta.”