Sani Usman, spokesman for the Nigerian Army, said the mishap occurred on Monday morning, but rescue efforts were underway to determine casualties.
“I can confirm that our soldiers were involved in a boat accident today,” Mr. Sani said. “But we have not been able to ascertain the number of soldiers who may have lost their lives.”
“It is quite a tragic incident.”
The ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ was devised by the Nigerian government as a response to the resurgent militancy in the Niger-Delta region, which had forced several oil corporations operating in the area to suspend activities.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, said, while launching the operation on August 29, that the troops were deployed to help keep the people of South-South safe and protect oil installation from sabotage.