However, the loss of our personnel is regrettable and most unfortunate, and their death in the line of duty for the development of the Niger Delta region is very painful.
Operation Pulo Shield-- the Joint Military Force deployed to the Niger Delta region-- says it is saddened by the loss of two of its personnel on Tuesday in Bayelsa.
Col. Isa Ado, spokesman of the Force, on Wednesday confirmed the death of two soldiers in a gun duel with suspected kidnappers near Nembe in Bayelsa.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on telephone, that the force remained resolute in fishing out those behind the act.
He said that the troops, while in pursuit of the fleeing suspects, killed one and made some arrests.
According to him, details are still sketchy on the operation.
"The unfortunate incident happened on Tuesday morning at Ogbolomabiri-Nembe junction, some two kilometers away from Nembe, when our troops, on escort duty, encountered some gunmen who happened to be kidnappers.
"The kidnappers attacked our soldiers and there was exchange of gunfire and we lost two of our personnel.
"They (suspected kidnappers) whisked away an expatriate who works for a construction firm, Setraco and fled through the waterways.
"However, the loss of our personnel is regrettable and most unfortunate, and their death in the line of duty for the development of the Niger Delta region is very painful.
"Their supreme sacrifice can never be in vain as the Commander of operation Pulo Shield has given stern directives to apprehend the criminals to face prosecution and free the hostage.
"We have intensified aggressive patrols and it is yielding results, there are developments on the matter. Our men had an encounter with the pirates and one of them was killed.
"We found three victims in their boat, made some arrests, but some of them escaped. We are on their trail and we shall issue a statement as soon as we get all the details,” Ado said.