Troops of the Nigerian military have killed no fewer than 13 commanders of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) over their ‘criminal’ activities in the South East zone.
The troops also recovered a voter registration capturing machine belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and some other items.
Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, the Director, Defence Media Operations, disclosed this to reporters at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
Danmadami explained that the military in conjunction with other security agencies had continued to curb the activities of the outlawed groups because they had been making lives unbearable for people of the zone.
He said, “Within the week in focus, troops neutralised 13 IPOB/ESN criminals, arrested six including their herbalist.
“Troops equally recovered eight AK47 rifles, seven pump action guns, three locally made pistols, one sniper rifle, 15 rounds of 7.62mm special, 13 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, eight rounds of 9mm ammunition and five cartridges.
“Other items recovered are three pairs of combat boots, two pairs of camouflage uniforms and two camouflage jungle hats.
“Also recovered are two CCTV cameras, one INEC image capturing machine, one INEC box, two walkie talkies, transistor radio, three solar panels, motorcycles, vehicles among other items.
“All apprehended criminals and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authority for further action.”
Speaking further, the military officer also disclosed that troops attached to Operation Delta Safe have destroyed 44 illegal refining sites in the Niger Delta region over continuous oil theft in the region.
He noted that troops also apprehended 29 suspected oil thieves during land, maritime and air operations at creeks, villages, communities, waterways, cities and towns within Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers States.
According to him, the conduct of Operation ‘Octopus Grip’ discovered and destroyed 32 wooden boats, 73 storage tanks, 129 cooking ovens and 40 dugout pits.
He added that troops also recovered 512,000 litres of stolen crude oil, 114,500 litres of illegally refined AGO, 1,000 liters of PMS, 40 vehicles, three motorcycles, three generators and five pumping machines.
“Troops also arrested 29 criminal elements and recovered 104 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition. Notably, on Nov. 7, it conducted air interdiction at Abacheke, an identified illegal refining site where significant human activities were confirmed.
“Consequently, the target was engaged and destroyed while an air strike led to an inferno that lasted for almost 24 hours,” he said.