Four marine police were missing and reportedly killed after gunmen believed to be pirates stole their boat in southern Nigeria, police said on Wednesday, reports BSS.
The officers were on patrol in the Abonnema area west of the Rivers state capital Port Harcourt on Monday when they came under attack.
Local media reports said the police had been killed but state police spokesman Nnamdi Omoni told reporters it was “premature to conclude that the policemen were dead”.
“We are still looking for them, so they are presumed to be missing.”
It was not immediately clear if the attack was carried out by rebels who have repeatedly hit oil and gas installations in the oil-producing south this year or roving criminal gangs in the area.
Last week, 14 local staff of an oil service firm were kidnapped near Port Harcourt while piracy has plagued the Gulf of Guinea and the inland creeks of the delta region.
Nigeria’s military recently launched a major operation, codenamed “Crocodile Smile”, to rid the region of militants, pirates, and other criminals.