Gunmen disguised as priests in white robes and red caps have killed three Nigerian soldiers and and have stolen their weapons at a jetty in the oil-rich Niger Delta, a traditional ruler has said.
The attack in Nembe town in southern Bayelsa state came just days after 11 soldiers lost their lives in an ambush by armed bandits in the north of the country.
Security officials and local sources said at least three gunboats may have been seized in the latest attack.
The soldiers killed were part of ”Operation Crocodile Tears”, which is trying to secure oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
The attack took place at the jetty where about a year ago five soldiers and a policeman were killed and their weapons seized by the gunmen.
No group has said it carried out the raid, but the newly formed Niger Delta Avengers group has carried out a spate of attcks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta this year.
These attacks have severely disrupted oil production, worsening the economic crisis.
The militants say they are fighting for the government to use more oil revenue on curbing poverty in the region.