Two soldiers belonging to the 29 Battalion troops in Port-Harcourt, were wounded in a gun battle with armed oil thieves in Rivers State, a spokesperson has said.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Army deputy spokesperson, Aminu Iliyasu, confirmed the development.
He said the troops also destroyed quantities of illegally refined crude oil.
”On September 4, 2017, troops of 6 Division Garrison, Port Harcourt on routine Anti-Bunkering patrols to Elechi and Abonnema Wharf discovered and destroyed several quantities of suspected illegally refined Automated Gas Oil in Rivers State.
”Members of the operations are, Anti-Illegal Oil Bunkering, Anti-Kidnapping, Anti Robbery, Anti-Cultism, Anti- Piracy as well as Stop and Search Operations against other sundry crimes being committed against law-abiding and peace-loving citizens of the Niger Delta with huge successes recorded so far,” he said.
Mr. Iliyasu said a similar operation conducted by the troops of 29 Battalion Tactical Headquarters, Bille, in Rivers State led to a shootout during which the soldiers were injured.
”The troops faced armed illegal bunkerers at Feropkakama, a notorious bunkering site, who on sighting troops opened fire. However, the gallant troops repelled the attack and pursued the scampering criminals deep into the creeks with many of them sustaining gunshot wounds.”
Mr. Aminu said the injured soldiers are responding positively to treatment at a military facility in Port Harcourt.
”More success was recorded as troops discovered 14 Pump Action cartridges, 4 empty AK 47 magazines, 8 pumping machines and several other illegal bunkering tools while a massive manhunt in conjunction with other sister security agencies is under way to track down and arrest the fleeing criminals in order to bring them to justice,’’ he added.
‘’In a related development, troops of 130 Battalion in Harris Town, Rivers State arrested one of the notorious kidnap kingpins known as David Owhor AKA Chile who along with his gang members (at large) have been terrorising innocent people along East-West Road between Port Harcourt and Choba general area. The suspect is currently in military custody making useful confessions and assisting security agencies in making tremendous progress in the investigation that will lead to the eventual arrest of other gang members,” he said.