The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says the air component of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) and Operation Hadin Kai carried out successful air interdiction missions on some illegal refining sites and terrorist hideouts in the Niger Delta and North-East regions.
In a statement on Sunday, NAF spokesperson Edward Gabkwet said the air interdictions were in continuation of efforts to contain the activities of terrorists, militants and other criminal elements destabilising the nation.
He said the air component of OPDS had, on August 27, carried out air interdiction missions on some illegal refining sites at Cawthorne Channels, Bille, and Gogokori in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers.
Mr Gabkwet said illegal refining sites were attacked and destroyed in the area.
He said a Cotonou boat observed to be loaded with illegal refined products and heading into open waters was also engaged and destroyed in Gogokori.
According to him, similar strikes were also extended to Idama in Akuku‐Toru LGA and Omoma in Degema LGA of Rivers upon receipt of intelligence of refining activities at the two locations.
Mr Gabkwet said overhead both locations, active illegal refining sites with reservoirs suspected to contain illegally refined products were sighted, adding that the reservoirs were subsequently engaged, destroyed and engulfed in flames.
He said the militants/pirates’ camps identified as Big Joe’s Camp, Sunny’s Camp, Davids’ Camp in Bakassi Local Government Area and Amos Camps in Calabar South Local Government Area in Cross River were on August 25, attacked by the air component of OPDS.
He added that the air strikes were authorised after confirming the locations littered with these criminals and their activities.
“Those that attempted to escape through their various escape routes were also attacked.
“In one of the suspected kidnappers’ camps, a lone structure suspected to be harbouring some kidnapped victims with armed men roaming around the structure was also attacked using guns on board the aircraft.
“The strikes led to pandemonium with several kidnapped victims seen escaping,” he said.
The NAF spokesman said in the North-East, strikes were conducted on August 25 at Chinene, a persistent terrorists’ hideout in Mandara mountains, which had been struck on several occasions in the past.
He said the location was struck with several terrorists neutralised, having observed that the area had continually hosted gatherings of terrorists and their activities, adding that others fled for their lives.
“While the NAF, alongside other security agencies, remain focused in undertaking their assigned tasks, the need for all Nigerians to see themselves as part of the solution to these challenges through the provision of actionable information to security agencies cannot be overemphasised,” he added.