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Military Aircraft Bomb Illegal Refining Sites In Rivers

The air component of Operation Delta Safe has destroyed seven illegal refining sites at different locations in Rivers State.

Equally, a total of four boats loaded with illegally refined products heading southwards were bombed by military aircraft deployed for the operations.

The Director of Public Relations and Information for the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet, in a statement on Sunday stated that the operations were conducted on 12th and 13th of April, 2024, in Idama, Ogbomkiri, Arugbana, Ivy Island, and Samkiri communities in River State.

A strike conducted by the air component of Operation Delta Safe in December 2023 destroyed six illegal oil refining sites at Opu Arugbana in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers.

Also in March 2024, two illegal oil refining sites were destroyed at Krakama and Temakiri in the Degema local government area of Rivers State.

Gabkwet said, “Air strikes by the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe have continued to record tremendous successes against the activities of economic saboteurs operating in the Niger Delta Region. Specifically, air strikes carried out from  April 12 to 13,  2024 at some locations in Rivers State have significantly diminished the capabilities of oil thieves to continue in their nefarious efforts at bursting and siphoning crude oil.

“In the Idama community, for instance, an active illegal refining site was observed and engaged. Also, armed reconnaissance undertaken over Yellow Island and Cawthorne Channel revealed four boats loaded with illegally refined products heading southwards. The boats were subsequently engaged and destroyed”.

Gabkwet noted that at Arugbana, oil thieves were attempting to establish an illegal refining site, adding that upon spotting the approaching aircraft, they quickly fled for safety.

He said, “Similar reconnaissance missions were conducted over Ogbomkiri, Arugbana, Ivy Island, and Samkiri. While over Ogbomkiri, an active illegal refining site was identified and engaged accordingly.

“At Arugbana, oil thieves were seen trying to set up an illegal refining site and, on sighting the approaching aircraft, scampered for safety. Several illegal sites were also observed at SAMKIRI and were engaged and destroyed.

In all, about 7 illegal refining sites and 4 boats were discovered and destroyed within the two-day operation.”

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