Niger Delta atmosphere was tensed up following a 15 minute gun battle between troops of Joint Task Force (JTF) and militants.
The Nation reports that troops on Operation Delta Safe carried out a raid on militants’ hideout resulting in the arrest of suspected militants and recovery of ammunition.
Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman who is the commander of the operation revealed that they got a tip-off that a gang of militants were robbing people bringing rice from Cameroon in the Ikang axis.
The troop got there and engaged the militants in the gun fight leading to the arrest of one of them, Mr. Kingsley Effiong Essien, while seven other escaped with gun wounds.
Items recovered are a General Purpose Machine Gun, two speed boats, two General Purpose Machine Gun, 200 Horsepower boat Engine (HP), two 150 Horsepower boat Engine, one 75 HP Engine boat, one small wooden boat mounted with 9.9 HP Engine. three AK47 magazines, 306 rounds of GPMG 7.62 millimeter (mm), Browning Machine Gun (BMG) ammunition, one round of 12.7 millimeter BMG feeding tray, three empty ammunition boxes, one dagger knife, empty cases and links.
Others are six touch light, seven tins of magi, two school bags, three tecno handsets, one Nokia handset, two Etisalat sim cards, two Airtel lines, one memory cards and charms. four military camouflage jackets, one Nigerian Navy head warmer, Camel bag (water bottle), four big raps of Indian hemp, packets of condoms and 12.7 millimeters BMG rounds and accessories.
A militant shrine at Ube Okobo in Akwa Ibom state was also raided by the troops and arrested five suspects.
Four other militants were arrested in Bilabiri community.
Suleiman said the ODS was committed to protecting oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.
“ODS is primarily here to protect and preserve national oil and gas installations. But I must also warn that criminals will have no hiding place in the region. Few disgruntled elements will no longer be allowed to hold this nation to ransom.
“Operation Delta Safe will continue to ensure the sanity of the Niger Delta region even in this Yuletide season.”
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