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In Niger Delta Military kills 4 pirates, frees abducted soldier

The spokesman added that the soldier was currently receiving medical treatment in Nembe while efforts are underway to arrest the fleeing abductors.

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(Premium Times)

The Joint Military Force deployed to protect oil facilities in the Niger Delta, "Operation Pulo Shield,’’ has killed four suspected pirates and freed an abducted soldier in Bayelsa.

This is contained in a statement signed by the force spokesman Col. Isa Ado and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Yenagoa.

Ado said the feat was achieved in multiple operations conducted by the military in March 2016.

He said that the soldier, whose name was not mentioned, was kidnapped by pirates on March 24 along the Nembe waterways.

The spokesman added that the soldier was currently receiving medical treatment in Nembe while efforts are underway to arrest the fleeing abductors.

Ado said that the force also arrested medical personnel who specialised in treating wounded militants and sea pirates after exchange of gun battle with the military.

"It was revealed from our source that the medical worker has been operating in the creeks for long and providing medical service to the pirates and militants at a medical facility at Okiama Village in Southern Ijaw LGA, Bayelsa.

"He was responsible for the treatment of the wounded sea pirates and their leader who recently engaged troops of the Joint Force in a shootout along Nembe water ways in Bayelsa.

"During the encounter, four of the sea pirates were killed while others sustained injuries.

"However they ran out of luck as troops on getting the information cordoned off the area and arrested the medical worker while the wounded pirates escaped before the arrival of troops,” the statement read in part.

In another development, the troops arrested a suspected oil thief during anti-illegal oil bunkering around Igbematoru, Ogu-Bolo and Bille axis of Bayelsa and Rivers.

Seven wooden boats, two Cotonou boats, four surface tanks loaded with suspected stolen products, seven storage tanks each loaded with 30,000 litres of stolen crude were impounded at the site.

The site and the items were subsequently destroyed.

Also troops deployed at Afiesere Flow Station in Ughelli North LGA of Delta on March 18 foiled an attempt to vandalise and cart away valves from wellhead 18/37 at Afiesere.

Afiesere Flow Station is operated by Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

Ado stated that troops on getting information responded swiftly and recovered two valves supposedly abandoned by fleeing suspects.

He said the recovered exhibits are in custody of the Joint Force while efforts are on top gear to apprehend the perpetrators.

"Meanwhile, troops while on land trotting along NPDC Erhoike Flow Station Kokori Ethiope East LGA of Delta arrested two suspects in connection with the vandalism of wellheads 3 and 19 at an Oil field in the area.

"The suspects on completion of preliminary investigation were handed over to the Nigerian Police at Ughelli Area A for further action,” Ado said. 

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