N10bn stolen crude intercepted, 2,245 terrorists killed – DHQ

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Edward BubaThe Defence Headquarters said, on Thursday, that the military has made significant progress in the counter-insurgency war and fight against oil theft.

It said in the last three months, troops intercepted and recovered stolen crude oil worth N10bn in the Niger Delta while no fewer than 2,245 terrorists were killed in the North.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba gave the figures on Thursday during the DHQ’s bi-weekly briefing in Abuja.

Buba said, “During the second quarter of this year, troops neutralised 2,245 terrorists, arrested 3,682 suspected terrorists and other criminal elements as well as rescued 1,993 kidnapped hostages and denied the oil theft of an estimated sum of over N10bn only –  9,225,149 litres of stolen crude oil, 2,874,916 litres of illegally refined AGO, 29,900 litres of DPK and 31,380 litres of PMS, amongst other items, were recovered.”

Buba added that troops recovered 2,783 weapons and 64,547 ammunition rounds.

“The breakdown for the period includes and is not limited to the following: 1,169 AK47 rifles, 36,273 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 14,764 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 713 assorted arms and 9,850 assorted ammo,” he added.

Buba, however, described the counter-insurgency war as a marathon rather than a sprint, saying it would take some time to completely wipe out terrorists from the country.

The PUNCH reports that terrorist activities in the northern part of the country have persisted for over a decade, leading to the killing and abduction of thousands of citizens and the displacement of millions.

Buba, said, “Indeed, the military has greatly degraded the terrorists, even though they are still present in the theatres of operation. It would take time and effort to completely destroy these terrorists, particularly as counter-insurgency is akin to a marathon, not a sprint.”

He observed that the terrorists had prioritised their military capability over every other thing.

Buba said, “It is safe to say that the terrorists have prioritised their military capability over everything else. This is because as our forces advance and clear areas in which these terrorists hibernate, we continue to recover weapons, explosives and IEDs, which are indicative of the priorities of the terrorists. Nevertheless, we continue to wipe out the terrorists through synchronised ground and air operations.’

“Troops operations are continually assessed to make adjustments in our actions, thereby amending our operations to increasingly ensure we minimise civilian casualties. Our operations are progressing according to plan as we abide by international laws governing armed conflict.

“Overall, we will do everything within the bounds of the law to make our nation safe for citizens. The military will keep up with the fighting spirit and maintain the stamina in the frontlines. Our pride is to risk our lives, to save the lives of our citizens. This is what we do to secure our country.”

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