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Troops Foil Agip Pipeline Bombing, Arrest 19

Troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Pulo Shield, have averted an attempt by suspected vandals to bomb pipelines belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) Okpoama, Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.

The coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC) Col. Ado Isa, in a statement on Friday, said the suspects planted dynamites beneath the pipeline location in a swamp before the troops discovered it.

Isa who said two dynamite detonators, cable wire and battery were recovered from the scene, explained that the troops deployed in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state, carried out anti-illegal oil bunkering patrol and cordon-and-search operation along Ebelebiri and Agba communities.

During the operation, he said six suspected pipeline vandals were arrested along with eight Cotonou boats loaded with illegally acquired crude oil.

He added: “On same day, OPS troops, in continuation of its raid on suspected pipeline vandals’ camps carried out cordon-and-search operation in Oporoma Community of Delta State.

“Ten suspected pipeline vandals were arrested during the operation and one pistol, 195 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 14 handheld radio sets, diving equipment, personal computer, IPAD, 30 detonating codes and several cell phones with SIM cards belonging to telecoms companies, among others, were recovered from them” he said.

Isa further said that the maritime component of the force and the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS Delta) on June 14 arrested three suspected coordinators of many pipeline bombings across the region.

He said one of the arrested suspects, John Oboka, aka Jamaica, confessed to being part of the group that bombed the Nigerian Petroleum Developing Company crude oil pipeline at Escravos, in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State.

Meanwhile, tragedy was averted in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital yesterday as two male suicide bombers who strapped IEDs on their bodies stormed Kusari area, near CBN Staff Quarters in Maiduguri at about 6:45 am were shot and killed before they could detonate the devices.

A spokesman of Civilian JTF, Alhaji Bello who participated in the operations disclosed that the men were sighted by vigilant elders who stopped them and queried their mission in the area, adding that the suicide bombers were targeting early morning worshipers at a Mosque in the community.

He said on enquiry about their identities they took to their heels as the Civilian JTF pursued them, shot and killed them, adding that there were Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) wrapped on their bodies that had not yet explode. Nigerian troops have cordoned off the whole area, and normalcy has been restored.

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