Troops in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region have arrested five persons suspected to be pipeline vandals.
They also foiled an attempt by heavy sea pirates to hijack a vessel.
The troops, who represent the Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta, made this known on Sunday in Yenagoa through their spokesman Lt.-Cdr. Thomas Otuji.
He explains how the suspects were arrested
Otuji revealed that the suspects were arrested between October 17 and 18 close to some oil wellheads at Apala, off Nana Creeks in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta state.
“Troops of Operations Base 2 in Delta State, while on anti-crude oil theft patrol on October 17 and 18, intercepted pipeline vandals in a large Cotonou and speed boats.
“Five suspected vandals were arrested and they confessed to their plan to vandalise the wellheads. The two boats were recovered in the crackdown.
“Similarly, troops of Operation Base 2 repelled a hijack of a vessel (MT VAJARA) by heavily armed bandits in Ramos River, around Agge area of Delta State.
“The criminals were repelled after fierce exchange of fire with our troops of the maritime component,” he said.
The Joint Military Force foils hijack – spokesman
The JMF spokesman recalled that the force recently responded to worrying calls by some travelers who were attacked by sea pirates in Cross River and Rivers, killing the suspected pirates and rescuing the victims.
He also revealed that last week, seven suspected pirates and militants were killed in crossfire during rescue operations, adding that the hostages were freed unhurt.
He said the force had intensified patrols and raids on the criminals’ hideouts and was poised to halting the renewed violence in the region and restore peace for legitimate businesses to thrive.
Otuji further commended residents of the coastal communities for their timely and credible information, which has resulted in the successes recorded.