The Nigerian Army says that its troops in Bayelsa have destroyed 72 “illegal refineries” within the past 48 hours in the state.
An unspecified number of militants and kidnappers’ camps were also destroyed in the state, and in neighbouring Rivers State, says a statement released on Friday by the military.
The statement signed by the Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, said some soldiers, who responded to a tip off on the presence of suspected kidnappers at Akupoku, carried out a raid on Wednesday at the location in the community.
No arrest was made, as the suspects had fled before the soldiers arrived, the statement said.
The troops also carried out cordon and search operation at Abakrikri Fishing Pot, based on a tip off that some kidnappers were there. But no arrest was made.
Mr. Usman, a colonel, said the troops however destroyed three large refining pots and 20 tanks filled with illegal refined oil, when they raided Ke, another community near the Atlantic Ocean.
Another set of troops were said to have discovered and destroyed illegal refinery at another community called Bile. Items destroyed included 12 large refining pots.
The troops recovered an AK-47 rifle, an empty magazine, six face masks, one machete, and several empty shells of expended ammunition, when they raided suspected kidnappers’ camp at Awukiri.
No arrest was made, but the troops destroyed the camp.
The military, with soldiers from 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, has been conducting field training exercise code named “Operation Crocodile Smile” in some parts of the Niger Delta region.