Reports streaming in from the creeks say unidentified gunmen have attacked three Bille passenger boats enroute Port Harcourt, fatally wounding three and carting away one of the boats.
According to sources all three attacks took place this morning.
One of the boats is said to have family and guests of a wedding taking place in Port Harcourt. The attackers forcibly dropped passengers of the first two boats in the creeks and went away with their belonging.
A third boat sent to rescue the passengers was perforated with bullets from the attackers' guns and is feared sunk in the middle of the river.
The incidence has made the Degema Local Government Chairman, Tony Philmoore, PhD, to cancel his trip to Buguma, headquarters of Asari Toru Local Government Area where the father of former Senior Special Adviser to Governor Wike on Special Projects, George Kelly, is to be buried. Dr. Philmoore is at press time monitoring and coordinating security from home.
Analyst say the pirates may not be different from the ones that attacked a Port Harcourt bound boat from Bakana last Friday because of their modus operandi and timing. Recently the naval merchants who used to patrol the New Calabar River and Bille creeks on gunboats were said to have been given additional responsibility to protect Bakana creeks as a result of recent attacks there. This might have whittled down their operations along the Bille axis and given the pirates openings to attack.