Troops Kill Five Militants, Rescue Victims

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The Joint Military Force involved in the operation to clear the Niger Delta of militants, kidnappers and sea pirates, says it has killed five suspected militants and two pirates in different operations within the last three days, while three other suspects were arrested.

Addressing newsmen on Wednesday, spokesman of the force, Thomas Otuji, said that the five militants were killed in a gun fight after they had hijacked a boat that was conveying bags of rice, demanding that the owner of the goods pay them N500,000.

The incident, Otuji said, took place at the Parrot Island in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State.

He said: “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 and rescued the passengers unhurt.”

The spokesman also said that two other suspected militants and a cultist were arrested at Ikot Ene, Akpabuyo LGA, and are currently undergoing interrogation.

Otuji said further troops of Sector 3 of the Joint Military force, codenamed ‘Operation Delta Safe’, got reports of an attack by pirates on innocent citizens at Idama water side in Rivers State, and responded promptly, sinking the pirates’ boat in the process.






     

     

    He added 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.

    In another operation, troops deployed at Kula-Abonema waterways in Rivers state, acting on a tip-off, killed two suspected sea pirates at Sonykiri creeks near Olakpoko in Kula, while two others escaped with gunshot injuries.

    Items recovered from the criminals include: 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.

    Otuji assured people living on the waterways that the military will continue to intensify to do its best to protect them. He urged them to always support the troops by providing them with vital information.

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