The Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operation DELTA SAFE, on Tuesday, in Bayelsa, raided the Pirates/Militants’ camp and Kidnappers’ hideouts, eliminating six criminals.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Enenche said the troops, acting on credible intelligence, monitored movements of a suspected pirate/sea gang leader, who had sneaked into town from Port Harcourt, in the company of another known notorious kidnapper.
He explained that the troops thereafter raided the pirates’ camp at Tukugbene-Ayama ijaw Local Government Area, to arrest both suspects and their gang members.
According to him, upon arrival at the personal jetty of the suspect, troops met heavy resistance from harassing gun fire from pirates/militants in five boats that approached from adjoining creek.
“But the overwhelming fire power of our troops led to the forceful withdrawal of the pirates/militants, with various degree of gunshots wounds.
“The gallant troops sustained the fire fight until five of the pirates/militants were neutralised ashore.
“Furthermore, three of the attacking boats were sunk while the occupants with various degree of gunshots wounds escaped into the river.
“In the process, troops recovered three boats from the pirates.
“Additionally, our troops took over the jetty and advanced to the objective area which was empty,” he said.
Mr Enenche said that the troops cordon off the area and conducted a search of the building where the suspects were believed to be residing and thereafter cleared the building.
He disclosed that the troops recovered three AK47 rifles with a magazine, two 200 HP Yamaha outbound engines and three 115HP Yamaha outbound engines during the operation.
The coordinator further disclosed that troops also raided an identified hideout belonging to a notorious criminal/kidnapper and oil thief along Mbiama East West road.
According to him, during the operation, the troops arrested the kingpin while attempting to escape and recovered items which include a locally made pistol and cartridges..
“(The suspect) is reported to be a close ally to a notorious criminal known as VIP suspected to be one of the masterminds of the killing of 5 Battalion Soldiers around East-West road.
“The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their dexterity and encourages them to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of pirates/militants in the Niger Delta region of the country,” he said.