A Niger Delta militant group has claimed responsibility for the killing of four Bayelsa State police officers on Thursday.
In an email message to journalists, militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, copped to the killings and added that they also knew the whereabouts of crew members that had been abducted in pirate raids.
Police officials in the oil-rich southern delta had confirmed that gunmen on speedboats had attacked a marine police checkpoint on Thursday, in the Nembe River in Bayelsa and opened fire.
Militants activities reduced significantly after the government led Amnesty program of 2009, but recently MEND has renewed its efforts, claiming responsibility for the attack on an oil pipeline owned by an Italian corporation.
It further claimed in the email message sent out today, that they knew the identity of the kidnappers of three foreign crew members, adding that the kidnappers were willing to hand over the abducted persons who were said to be in good health.
The three workers had been abducted when pirates attacked a Dutch Cargo ship anchored in the city of Port Harcourt. The attackers had robbed the vessel and then kidnapped the ship’s captain, engineer and a crew member.
The International Maritime Bureau who confirmed the attack called it a worrying trend. The United Nations has warned of increased frequency in pirate activities in the Gulf of Guinea and called on affected countries to work together to tackle the problem.
The International Maritime Bureau had reported that a captain and chief engineer were kidnapped off a vessel anchored in the city of Port Harcourt during an attack by pirates Tuesday. It said a crew member was also missing.