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Troops Kill 5, Arrest 23 Militants in Niger Delta as Soldiers Flood Communities, Ready for War


The Nigerian Army has said that its men of the Special Forces Battalion killed five militants and recovered some arms and ammunition from their camp in Rivers State, Friday.
This is as battle ready soldiers have flooded Niger Delta communities.
In the encounter with Army, scores of the militants were injured, while 23 others were arrested.
Army spokesperson, Col. Sani Usman, who made this known in a statement on Saturday, said that the militants were killed in an operation which was a prelude to ‘Exercise Crocodile Smile’ meant to flush out criminal elements in the Niger Delta region.
Usman said in the statement: “The 133 Special Forces Battalion of the Nigerian Army have carried out a precursor operation to Exercise CROCODILE SMILE aimed at getting rid of all forms of criminal activities in the Niger Delta geo-political region of Nigeria.
“In the course of the operation, five militants that attacked the troops were killed in action, while numerous others were injured and 23 suspects were arrested.
“The operations which was conducted yesterday 26th August 2016, was carried out by the Special Forces at the militants camps.
“Items recovered from the camps include two AK-47 rifles, 11 Pump Action guns, a locally made revolver pistol, 292 cartridges of live Ammunition, 199 rounds of AK-47 rifle Ammunition, four electricity generating sets and a camp gas cooker.
“The troops also recovered an abandoned engine boat left by the fleeing criminals”, Usman said.
Meanwhile, reports say there is apprehension in the Niger Delta communities as they noticed military build up in the zone.
This it was gathered is preparatory to the launch of a major military offensive against militants.
The natives are said to have expressed worry over the presence of military hardwares and battle ready soldiers flooding their communities.
Community residents said they observed many military gunboats, battle-ready soldiers and other maritime military hardwares moving into the creeks.
On Saturday, special military drills to commence the operation are said to have reached the peak and the development is creating panic in the region.
On Friday the Movement of the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) had applauded President Muhammadu Buhari on his pledge not to use force against militants in the region.
The present exercise, which is designed by the military to equip the amphibious and internal security operations in the riverine areas against the activities of Niger Delta militants, is under the auspices of codenamed ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’.
It was also learnt that the exercise resulted in massive deployment of troops in the creeks of the region through the Sapele waterways in Delta State.


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