The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it has carried out successful air interdiction missions on some illegal refining sites and terrorist hideouts, respectively, in the Niger Delta and North East.
The NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Gabkwet said the air interdictions were a continuation of efforts aimed at containing the activities of terrorists, militants, and other criminal elements bent on destabilising the nation and making life unbearable for peace-loving Nigerians.
According to him, the air component of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) had, on August 27, carried out air interdiction missions on some illegal refining sites located at Cawthorne Channels, Bille, and Gogokori in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers.
Gabkwet, who asserted that the illegal refining sites were attacked and destroyed in the area, said that a Cotonou boat observed to be loaded with illegally refined products and heading into open waters was also engaged and destroyed at Gogokori.
He further affirmed that similar strikes were conducted at Idama in AkukuToru Local Government Area and Omoma in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers upon receipt of intelligence of refining activities at the two locations.
The NAF spokesperson avowed that active illegal refining sites with reservoirs suspected to contain illegally refined products were destroyed in both locations.
Also destroyed on August 25 were four militant camps: three in Bakassi Local Government Area and one in Calabar South Local Government Area in Cross River.
He added that the air strikes were authorised after confirmation that the locations were active with criminals.
“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 confirmed that strikes were conducted in the Northeast on August 25 at Chinene, a terrorists’ hideout in the Mandara Mountains, which had been struck on several occasions in the past.