Troops rescue traders, kill 5 militants and 2 pirates in sea operation
Posted by News Express | 19 October 2016 | 2,329 times
The Joint Military Force deployed to the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, says it killed five suspected militants and two pirates while arresting three suspects in several operations in the past three days.
Troops reportedly rescued a boat laden with rice and traders from suspected Niger Delta militants who were killed in the rescue effort at Parrot Island in Bakassi Local Government Area (LGA) of Cross River.
Lt.-Cdr. Thomas Osuji, Spokesman of the joint force, said on Wednesday morning that the feats were achieved in the ongoing operations against criminals and oil thieves in the Niger Delta region.
According to Otuji, troops deployed to its sector 4 and a local vigilance group ambushed and killed five suspected members of Bakassi Strike Force militants who hijacked the cargo-laden boat and passengers.
“The militants had earlier seized the boat conveying large quantities of rice from a marketer and passengers on board and the owner of the rice was asked to pay N500,000 ransom. The troops placed a ‘bait’ during the rescue operation and later professionally engaged the militants in gun duel and killed five of them an rescued the passengers unhurt,” Otuji explained.
He said that the troops also arrested two suspected militants and a cultist at Ikot Ene, Akpabuyo LGA of Cross River State, who are currently in custody for interrogation.
Otuji also said that in another development, troops of Sector 3 of Operation Delta Safe at Idama water side in Rivers State got reports of pirates attack on innocent citizens and responded, sinking the pirates’ boat.
The spokesman said that one Ak-47 riffle, three magazines with 20 pieces of 7.62 mm special ammunition and a life vest were recovered from the pirates who used a banned 200 Horse Power outboard engine.
He said that following a tip-off, troops deployed at Kula-Abonema waterways killed two suspected sea pirates at Sonykiri creeks near Olakpoko in Kula while two escaped with gunshot injuries.
According to Otuji, one Ak-47 riffle, 2 AK-47 magazines, 40 pieces on 7.62 mm special ammunition, two mobile phones and one speedboat mounted with 140 horsepower outboard engine were recovered by the troops.
Otuji said that troops have intensified patrols in the ongoing operations and urged to members of the public to support the military by providing timely information to aid in securing the Niger Delta region.
•Photo showsa shrine used by Bakassi Strike Force militants set ablaze by troops of Operation Delta Safe at Bakassi LGA, Cross River State, on Oct. 18, 2016.