Military raids militants’ shrine, discovers human skulls

The Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Delta  SAFE, has arrested two militant leaders and discovered three human  skulls in the ongoing military operations.

The spokesman of the taskforce, Lt.-Cdr. Thomas Otuji, in a statement  on Friday in Yenagoa, said troops raided five shrines at Debe and Ikot  Ofing in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River on Thursday.

He said that troops on covert operation in Esighi waterside of Cross  River apprehended a suspected militants’ leader found with charms,  while another suspected leader was picked up at a hideout in Ikpa  Road, Uyo.

Otuji also said that the air component of the Operation Delta SAFE  during a reconnaissance patrol at Onne in Rivers, sighted barges of  15,000 litres of petrol concealed with green grass.

The troops also arrested three oil thieves operating illegal  refineries at Bennet Island, Asugbo, in Warri South Local Government  Area of Delta.

He said that the oil thieves had connected a hose linking the site to  a wellhead from where crude was siphoned.

Otuji said that a locally made gun, five live cartridges, a crude  laden wooden boat storage tank, seven speed boats with outboard  engines were seized at the site.

He said that a kidnap victim, Mrs. Roseline Duku who was abducted by  gunmen at Afiesere junction in Ugheli North Local Government Area was  rescued by troops in response to a distress call.

Otuji said the victim’s RAV4 car with registration number FST 927 was,  however, abandoned by her abductors along Ejode Road in Ughelli while  being pursued by troops.

He said, “Troops in conjunction with the police and local vigilance  group rescued the victim at Ekapkamre, Ugheli North LGA, Delta.

“Furthermore, troops deployed at Koluama in Bayelsa trailed and  arrested a notorious pirate known as Labiesta, who attacked innocent  citizens at Ogubene creeks.”

Otuji said that the militant had been on the wanted list of security agencies.

He said that the successes recorded by the troops in the ongoing  operation were traceable to the timely information provided by members  of the public and resilience of the troops.

He restated the commitment of the troops to degrade the capacity of  criminals in the Niger Delta region and pledged to provide a safe  environment for legitimate business to thrive in the region.

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