Nigerian army recovers 21 bodies of ambushed oil exploration crew
The Nigerian Army early Sunday said 21 additional bodies of an oil exploration crew, who were ambushed by a terror group in the country’s northeast, have been recovered.
The army also recovered vehicles and various calibers of weapons in an operation to rescue the ambushed oil exploration crew last Tuesday, said Sani Kukasheka Usman, the army spokesman.
The bodies recovered included those of five soldiers, who gave security backup to the crew, 11 civilian self-defense force and five members of the national oil corporation.
Six out of 12 staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the exploration team are still missing, only one of them returned alive to his base, the army spokesman said.Terror group Boko Haram is suspected to be responsible for the ambush while the crew was in the exploration of crude oil in the Lake Chad Basin. The ambush took place in Magumeri area of Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno.
The army described the incident as “unfortunate and highly regrettable.”
Search and rescue are still ongoing to secure the safe return of the missing oil workers, the army added.
Last Thursday, the Nigerian government suspended the exploration of crude oil in the Lake Chad Basin due to the attack by Boko Haram.
Encouraged by the commercial oil found in the neighboring Chad Republic, Nigeria had embarked on the oil search on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari to focus and intensify its exploratory work in the inland basins on the Chad Basin.