Military foils kidnap attempt, arrests 5 militants in Niger Delta

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The joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, on Friday said it foiled a kidnap attempt, freed two victims and arrested five suspected militants in multiple operations.

A statement signed by Thomas Otuji, deputy spokesman of the joint force, indicated that five suspected militants were arrested in the past 10 days.

Several illegal refineries were also destroyed during the operations, the statement said.

According to the statement, troops stationed in Delta State foiled an attempt by kidnappers on receipt of distress calls by members of the public.

“Troops immediately swung into action and rescued the victims,” the statement said. “One Mrs Vanessa Ilepi and Mrs Tega Okoro were kidnapped at Gun Point along Amukpe in Warri. One of suspects was arrested while 2 escaped.”

The military said effort was ongoing to arrest the escaped suspected kidnappers.

It said that troops of Sector 1 Operation DELTA SAFE, in a separate operation, raided and destroyed illegal refineries sites at Opumami and Okogho creeks in Warri South and North Local Government Areas of Delta.

According to the statement, the operators of the illegal refinery abandoned the site and fled on sighting the patrol boats.

Items found and destroyed at the site include 16 cooking pots, two Cotonou boats filled with crude oil and four wooden shelters, it added.

Also one Carton of 70 mm ammunition, three pumping machines, two deep freezers, one generator and a 55 Horse Power Speed boat were found and destroyed at the site.

According to the statement, troops on Tuesday, discovered and destroyed illegal bunkering sites along Bille creek, Bonny Local Government Area in Rivers during a routine patrol.

The military also said that in a bid to flush out militants from Bakassi and Akpabuyo LGAs in Cross River, Special Boats Services were deployed to degrade and fish out elements of Bakassi Strike Force militants 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.

“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,” the military said.

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