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NAF airstrikes in Rivers, Niger States destroy illegal oil refining sites, kill terrorists

Gabkwet further explained that NAF and other security agencies have also upped their game with modern technology and hardware...

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NAF airstrikes in Rivers, Niger States destroy illegal oil refining sites, kill terrorists

Story from Uji A. ILIYASU

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it has destroyed several illegal oil refining sites in Rivers State and eliminated scores of terrorists in Niger state in recent coordinated air strikes.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Sunday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said that as the activities of oil thieves and economic saboteurs had become sophisticated, so also the NAF and other security agencies re-strategise to checkmate their activities to stay ahead of their game.

He said that the oil thieves had, in most cases, continued to find new ways of concealing their overhead tanks used in storing stolen crude oil products from busted pipelines in the Niger-Delta region, adding that they also continued to infuse the use of fast speed boats to convey their stolen goods.

Gabkwet further explained that NAF and other security agencies have also upped their game with modern technology and hardware that enables them to detect and deter the activities of oil thieves and economic saboteurs.

“In Willcourt, a riverine settlement within the creeks of Niger Delta Region, the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe sighted and destroyed three Illegal Refining Sites (IRS).

“The sites have a total number of seven overhead tanks concealed under thick mangrove vegetation.

“Similartly, about five kilometres downstream, four boats were also sighted moving southwards with suspected illegally refined products. Our men attacked and destroyed the boats.
“While heading back, the crew spotted a speed boat with five suspected oil thieves fleeing the area.

“Upon sighting the aircraft, the criminals increased speed, hoping to evade the aircraft but the air component then pursued the speedboat until they arrived at the blocking zone of ground troops where they were arrested,” he said.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Air Force airstrikes neutralise high-ranking Boko Haram terrorists

Explaining further, Gabkwet said that similar successes were recorded in the Northwest region.

This followed a tip-off about the terrorists hibernating at Dandunu after rustling cattle from communities around the Kuchi-Kapana axis in Munya LGA of Niger.

Gabkwet said that the NAF subsequently deployed its air assets to scan the area which led to the interception of the terrorists on nine motorcycles leading the rustled cattle.

He said the motorcycle-riding terrorists were struck by the aircraft in several passes with most of them eliminated in the process.

“The feedback from locals around the location have so far been positive, with most of them being able to recover the rustled cattle and returning to their livelihoods.”

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