TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY MIKE SMITH Joint Military Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lt.Col. Onyema Nwachukwu speaks on illegal oil refineries and miltary operations to dislodge oil thieves in Bayelsa State of Niger Delta on April 9, 2013. Shell Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) had threatened to shut down production in April for nine days in the entire Nembe Trunk Line to remove a number of bunkering points on pipelines vandalised by oil thieves in the region. Since 2009, SPDC has experienced an upsurge in vandalisation of pipeline network by criminals causing severe environmental devastation and forcing the company to lose 60,000 barrels daily this year. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says ongoing military operations to combat terrorism, banditry and economic sabotage has recorded some successes in the last one week.

Some of the ongoing operates are “Operation Lafiya Dole’’, “Whirl Stroke and Delta Safe’’.

Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Acting Director, Defence Information (DDI), said this while giving update on those operations in a statement on Friday.

He said that during the period, troops repelled Boko Haram attack on Michika town in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa and recovered some items including weapons from them.

The DDI said that the terrorists came to the town to loot for their logistics, attacked a bank and some shops, damaging an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and carted away food items.

He, however, said that they ran out of luck as troops at neighbouring Lassa in Borno mobilised to engaged them in a fierce combat, forcing them to flee.

Nwachukwu said that terrorists, who fled were later ambushed and neutralised by Special Forces troops at Maikadiri in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno.

According to him, the troops recovered one Hilux van, two Toyota Starlet cars loaded with looted food stuff and motorcycles from them.

On banditry in the North West and North Central regions, Nwachukwu said troops arrested an impostor parading himself as a military officer in Tundun Wada area of Gusau in Zamfara.

He said that the suspect, who identified himself as Abdulresheed Sylvester was arrested while he dressed up in military uniform with the rank of Major.

He said that in the period under review, troops under “Operation Whirl Stroke’’ raided a suspected bandits camp at Dogo Gawa, a border community between Takum in Taraba and Katsina-Ala in Benue.

“In a shootout that ensued, the bandits who were overpowered by the superior firepower of the troops fled, abandoning their camp.

“The troops recovered one locally made riffle, one laptop, two cell phones, SIM cards, ATM cards and N400, 000,’’ he said.

Nwachukwu said that the camp had been destroyed while troops were currently on the trail of the fleeing bandits.

He said that another raid on a suspected militia hideout at Abuja Ogor, a local settlement in Doma Local Government of Nasarawa State, troops recovered two AK 47 riffles with two empty magazines.

He said also recovered was one Clarion 5.56 Israeli Assault rifle mounted with a magazine.

He added that two bandits were arrested in other raids, while two AK 47 rifles, three magazines and 126 rounds of ammunition were recovered.

In the Niger Delta region, the DDI said that the efforts to tackle economic sabotage yielded result in the period.

He said that operations in the area culminated in the arrest of two suspected pipeline vandals around the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) pipeline in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta.

“The suspects were arrested along with a tanker and eight motorcycles, while attempting to vandalise a petroleum pipeline,’’ Nwachukwu said.

He said that troops on patrol at Iwhrekreka in Ugheli Local Government also in Delta, uncovered and destroyed an illegal refining camp with 18 ovens, 18 coolers, 39 waste pits.

“Other items recovered included 26 surface tanks and five pits cumulatively filled with about 750,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.’’

He said that an illegal refining site was uncovered at Alakiri General Area in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers.

Nwachukwu said that vigilant troops recovered several tanks and pits filled with about 500,000 litres of stolen crude oil in the site.

“Additionally, 600,000 litres of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) and two pumping machines were also recovered from suspects.’’

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