Troops of the Nigerian Army have successfully cleared a notorious oil bunkering site in Rivers State, with two soldiers sustaining gunshot wounds in the process.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, said the incident occurred on Monday.
According to him, troops of the 29 Battalion Tactical Headquarters, Bille, Rivers State encountered armed illegal bunkerers at Feropkakama Camp, a notorious bunkering site, and the bunkerers on sighting them opened fire.
“However, the gallant troops repelled the attack and pursued the scampering criminals deep into the creeks with many of them sustaining gunshot wounds,” the statement read in part.
“Unfortunately, two brave soldiers were wounded in action, one of them critically but both are responding positively to treatment at a military facility in Port Harcourt.”
On Tuesday, troops conducted a follow-up operation to the camp and “discovered 14 Pump Action cartridges, four empty AK 47 magazines, eight pumping machines and several other illegal bunkering tools”.
The Army has launched a massive manhunt in collaboration with other security agencies to for the fleeing criminals in order to bring them to justice, the statement added.
The raid on illegal bunkerers in the region is part of the 6 Division Nigerian Army’s intensified operations to rid the area of criminal elements, two months after the division’s operationalisation.
As part of the intensified operation, on Monday, troops of 6 Division Garrison, Port Harcourt on routine Anti-Bunkering patrol to Elechi and Abonnema Wharf discovered and destroyed several quantities of suspected illegally refined Automated Gas Oil, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, the statement also said that troops of 3 Battalion (Rear), Warri has continued to “dominate their AOR with the conduct of Stop and Search Operations with a view to maintaining the fragile peace that exists in the area and to identify, detect and intercept criminals, arms and ammunition within the area”.
“This proactive measure has significantly reduced attacks on innocent communities particularly along Ogbe-Ijoh and Aladja boundary, Isaba community, Mofor, Okwuokwuoko, Warri/Sapele and other notable hot spots around Warri metropolis,” it said.