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JTF Invades Community, Burn down 15 Homes
Soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army based in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, have allegedly attacked Touma, a fishing community in Degema Local Government Area of the state.
According to reports reaching Independent, over eight gunboats and several speedboats said to belong to the military Joint Task Force (JTF) allegedly invaded the fishing community, part of the Bille Kingdom, setting several houses ablaze and leaving residents with severe gunshot injuries.
Sources disclosed that trouble started when unidentified gunmen attacked an army House Boat in Touma last week, during which two civilians and a soldier were killed and many injured, adding that people of the community even assisted the victims after the attack.
Sources say there is tension among people of Bille Kingdom over more attacks by the soldiers, reportedly targeted at Jike-ama, Kirikama, Gogobo-ama, Opu Bille Bokoama and several other communities.
Akpoebi Dino, who said he witnessed the attack on Touma, told Independent that the enraged soldiers entered the community with over seven gunboats, releasing heavy gunshots.
“It was about 10a.m on Monday when we saw over eight gunboats. When they got to our community, they started shooting into the community. They wounded many people with bullets and they burnt over 15 houses.
“They heard that suspected pirates attacked one of their camps around our community, as a result, they said our community connived with the criminals to attack them. We don’t know what they meant by that.
“We have been living happily with the army in the area. We don’t know the cause of the sudden change. When the unknown gunmen attacked the military base, the community helped to take those who sustained bullet wounds to the hospital and deposited about three corpses in the mortuary.”
Meanwhile, the leaders of Bille Kingdom have described as shocking the attack of Touma community by military men, stressing that the incident was unwarranted.

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