The joint military force deployed in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, said they had foiled a kidnap attempt, freed two victims, and arrested five suspected militants in multiple operations.
A statement signed by Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Otuji, deputy spokesman of the joint task force, revealed that the five suspected militants were arrested in separate operations launched by several arms of the force in the past 10 days.
The statement said several illegal refineries were also destroyed during the operations.
According to the military statement, a detachment of Operation Delta Safe, stationed in Delta State, foiled a kidnap after receiving a distress call from members of the public.
“Troops immediately swung into action and rescued the victims,” said the statement. It added: “One Mrs. Vanessa Ilepi and Mrs. Tega Okoro were kidnapped at gunpoint along Amukpe in Warri. One of the suspects was arrested while two escaped.”
The military added that efforts were underway to apprehend the escaped suspected kidnappers.
The spokesman said soldiers recovered a single barrel gun from the arrested kidnapper.
In a separate development, troops in Sector 1 of Operation Delta Safe raided and destroyed illegal refineries at Opumami and Okogho creeks in Warri South and North local government areas of Delta State, according to the military spokesman.
He said the operators of the illegal refineries abandoned their sites and fled on sighting the military patrol boats. The joint task force destroyed 16 cooking pots, two Cotonou boats filled with crude oil, and four wooden shelters.
Also destroyed were one carton of 70 mm ammunition, three pumping machines, two deep freezers, one generator and a 55-horse power speed boat.
The statement also revealed that, on October 4, 2016, troops discovered and destroyed illegal bunkering sites along Bille Creek, Bonny local government area in Rivers State during a patrol.
The military stated that special boats services had been deployed in a bid to flush out militants at Bakassi and Akpabuyo local government areas in Cross River. The spokesman added that the task force was determined to identify and degrade Bakassi militants who have been tormenting innocent citizens in the areas.
“Meanwhile, troops of Sector 4 of Operation Delta Safe, while on patrol, apprehended two suspected militants that stole two high power outbound boat engines from boat operators,” said the task force statement.
It added: “They were about selling the engines at Aqua Beach when our troops arrested them. The arrested suspects were subsequently handed over to Nigeria Police Force for further action.”
In a related development, the military spokesman said troops responded to a tip-off and arrested three suspected militants in a hideout at Okon Mkpa Community of Efut Esighi, Bakassi local government area.
According to the statement, items recovered at the scene included a Camry Toyota car belonging to one of the suspected militants, sentry duty rosters, and 73 wraps of a substance suspected to be Indian hemp.” It added: “A book containing over 30 names of suspected militants nominal roll for allowance payment scheduled was also found in the car.
“Preliminary investigation to ascertain the names in the book has commenced.”