Newly formed military operation, Operation Crocodile Smile on Monday suffered a major blow as a boat accident along the crocodile infested Brass Water Front in Brass area of Bayelsa state, drowned four soldiers to death.
It was also reported that the service rifles belonging to the missing soldiers are yet to be found.
The incident, which occurred at about 10am on Monday, created panic among newly deployed soldiers.
The mission of the Soldiers in the area was reportedly in connection with the renewed militancy, sea piracy and search for those planning to hoist the Niger Delta Republic, NDR, flag.
A member of the Community, identified as Etta, said that attempts by community youths and other soldiers to rescue the drowned soldiers were fruitless as they could not be found.
Etta said, “In recent times, we have been noticing increased movement of soldiers in our area.
“The boat that capsizes was conveying a new batch of soldiers to the water front. I was going to dispose of refuse at the waterfront and I saw uniformed soldiers struggling to rescue their colleagues in a capsize boat.
“When the confusion subsided, Four Soldiers were found to be missing with their rifles and other military gear.
“Some others that were rescued had their rifle missing and struggling out of the water. “
It was gathered that the military authorities sought the help of local divers and Youths in the community to help in the search for the missing soldiers.