Five Months After Kidnap, Troops Rescue Five Foreign Sailors In Rivers

Troops have rescued five kidnapped foreign sailors from suspected militants at Yellow Island in Rivers State.

The Defence Headquarters said on Tuesday that troops of Operation Delta Safe overran identified sea pirates/militants hideout at Ibiakafemo, Idinkiri, Tombie and Ogboma and rescued the five expatriates who were kidnapped in May.

The victims comprising three Russians, one Ukrainian and one Equatorial Guinean, who were abducted on May 9, were freed by a joint team from Forward Operating Base Bonny, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder and troops of 146 Battalion, on Tuesday.

The expatriates were abducted onboard MT RIO Mitong and MT Djibloho by unknown militant group in Yellow Island on May 9.

A statement by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, said the men were presently at NNS Pathfinder medical centre receiving medical attention.

The statement titled, ‘Troops of Operation Delta Safe dislodge militants camps, rescue kidnapped expatriates and recover stolen illegally refined AGO,’ said the troops also raided four identified militants’ hideout at Ibiakafemo, Idinkiri, Tombie and Ogboma.

The identified camps were subsequently destroyed to deny the pirates freedom of action.

It read, “In the early hours of October 6, 2020, the pirates/militants compelled by the ongoing operation surrendered to the gallant troops and handed over the five kidnapped foreign expatriates at Iwofe Waterfront.

“The five expatriates comprising three Russians, one Ukrainian and one Equatorial Guinean are presently at NNS Pathfinder medical centre receiving medical attention.”

The joint team also intercepted two large wooden boats laden with an estimated 350,000 litres of suspected stolen illegally refined diesel and about 10,000 litres of stolen crude oil

The stolen petroleum products have been recovered to the base

The Military High Command commended the troops for their resilience and encouraged them to sustain the tempo “against the enemies of our country.”