• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Military rescues 251 hostages, foils N765m oil theft

Military rescues 251 hostages, foils N765m oil theft

…Arrests 100 suspects over Abia killings of soldiers

The defence headquarters says military forces have rescued 251 hostages and thwarted an attempted oil theft valued at N765 million in different operations in the country.

Troops also recovered a substantial quantity of stolen crude oil and illegally refined petroleum products and further hampered the operations of criminal syndicates operating in the Niger Delta region.

During a bi-weekly press briefing in Abuja, Edward Buba, the director of Defence Media Operations, said these were achieved through a resolute display of operational effectiveness of the military in its mission to quell insecurity across the nation.

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Notably, 22 perpetrators of oil theft were among those arrested, contributing to the prevention of significant financial loss attributed to illicit activities in the oil-rich region.

In addition to rescuing hostages and thwarting criminal endeavours, military personnel in the Niger Delta region uncovered and dismantled 29 dugout pits, 22 boats, and 26 storage tanks utilized for illegal oil refining.

The crackdown also yielded the confiscation of critical equipment such as cooking ovens, drums, vehicles, and numerous illegal refining sites.

These operations executed in the volatile Niger Delta region, highlighted the military’s commitment to restoring peace and security while combatting economic sabotage.

The military further disclosed that following the killing of five soldiers at a checkpoint by terrorists of IPOB/ESN in Abia State, troops arrested over 100 suspects in the search for perpetrators of the dastardly act, but noted that those found innocent of the act have been released to go while those found culpable are under detention and assisting in the course of investigation.

Throughout the week, troops engaged in intensive efforts that saw the neutralization of 197 assailants and the apprehension of 310 individuals involved in various criminal activities.

“The military’s commitment to eradicating terrorism and criminal activities was underscored by the recovery of 180 assorted weapons and over 5,000 rounds of ammunition”, Buba stated.

This seizure included a wide array of firearms and explosives essential for combating insurgent activities and safeguarding national security.

Despite recent setbacks, including the loss of nine personnel in Zamfara State during operations, the defence headquarters remains resolute in its pursuit of peace and security.

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Addressing allegations against the Nigerian Armed Forces by the Zamfara State governor, the military emphasised its dedication to professionalism and collaboration with civil authorities to address concerns and foster understanding.

The military authorities stressed the importance of sustained vigilance and community support in safeguarding communities and critical national infrastructure, just as Buba disclosed that 100 suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent killing of soldiers in Abia State.

The ongoing efforts reflect a unified determination to neutralise threats and uphold peace, he said, urging citizens to remain steadfast in their support of ongoing security measures.