The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe Haven have overrun identified hideouts of sea pirates and militants at Ibiakafemo, Idinkiri, Tombie and Ogboma.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said that the soldiers also rescued five expatriates who were kidnapped in May.
Enenche said that the expatriates, who were onboard MT RIO MITONG and MT DJIBLOHO, were on May 9 kidnapped by the pirates and militants near Yellow Island.
He said that a joint team from Forward Operating Base Bonny, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, and troops of 146 Battalion combed the creeks in search of the kidnapped expatriates, following the reception of credible intelligence.
According to him, after a thorough search-and-rescue operation, the troops raided and destroyed the militants’ hideouts,
“Consequently, in the early hours of Oct. 6, the pirates and militants, compelled by the ongoing operations, surrendered to the gallant troops and handed over the five kidnapped expatriates at Iwofe Waterfront.
“The five expatriates — three Russians, one Ukranian and one Equatorial Guinean — are presently at NNS Pathfinder medical centre, receiving medical attention,” he said.
Besides, Enenche said that the joint team also intercepted two large wooden boats, laden with about 350,000 litres of suspected stolen illegally refined AGO and about 10,000 litres of stolen crude oil.
He said that the recovered petroleum products had been to taken to the Base.
“The Military High Command commends the gallant troops for their resilience and encourages them to sustain the tempo against the enemies of our country.
“The general public is also encouraged to support the troops by providing credible intelligence that will aid their operations,” he added.