The joint military task force in the Niger Delta named ‘Operation Delta Safe’ (OPDS) yesterday said it killed two kidnappers who engaged its men in a gun battle while trying to rescue a kidnap victim.
The incident happened at the weekend around Omuku Forest in Rivers State as the troops, who acted on a tip-off engaged the suspected armed kidnappers in a gun duel.
Commander of OPDS, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleman said: “Two of the armed kidnappers were killed in the ensuing battle while the rescued victim is currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Port Harcourt.”
He told journalists at the OPDS headquarters that it also arrested five suspected pipeline vandals during an operation in the area. The suspected vandals had detonated dynamites, which destroyed the Tebidaba-Ogboinbiri-Brass pipeline on the outskirts of Imgbiba Community, Southern Ijaw local council of Bayelsa State.
“Our troops acting on a tip-off, spotted suspected hideout at a fishing camp along Isonogbeme where three suspects namely: Ayebemi Dressman, Inimotimi Abule and Epemege Frank were arrested in connection with the vandalism at Peremabiri Community in Bayelsa State,” Suleman said.
The Commander who was represented by Col. Danjuma Abdullahi added that during similar operations, troops deployed to Benesice in Ekeremor council of Bayelsa State also apprehended two suspects, Bibowa Anemi and Ngoriduwa Gomogo.
The suspects were alleged to have been responsible for sabotage and theft of wellhead actuator device belonging to one of the international oil companies, adding that the theft led to the disruption of operations in the oil company.
“Also, the troops raided a suspected pirate’s hideout at Eleme, Rivers State. Although, no arrest was made, several items including 23 rounds of 7.62mm ball special ammunition, a generating set and 40 horse power suzuki speed boat engine, among others were recovered,” he added.
He therefore, appealed to members of the public to provide timely information to troops in order to get rid of notorious criminals from the region.