Soldiers Rescue Kidnapped Colleagues, Civilians After Battle With Militants

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070403-N-6901L-011 Maradi, Niger (April 3, 2007) - Nigerian soldiers from the 322nd Parachute Regiment line up in formation before participating in target practice facilitated by U.S. Army soldiers during Operation Flintlock 2007. The primary focus of Operation Flintlock is to provide an interactive exchange of military, linguistic and intercultural skills for both nations. U.S. Special Operations Forces depend on the ability to interface with foreign military forces in which this training is meant to enhance. The training will also help Niger to respond to threats within and across their borders to maintain security and stability. This event is part of an ongoing and long standing military-to-military relationship that the U.S. enjoys with Niger, and part of the U.S. State Department's Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Larson. (RELEASED)

The Nigerian Army on Thursday announced how two soldiers were rescued after a gun battle with militants in the Niger Delta.

Ibrahim Abdullahi, a major, said the battle occurred on Monday after soldiers of the ‘Operation Delta Safe’ in Rivers State received a report of their two kidnapped colleagues.

“Troops were immediately mobilised, swung into action and discovered a militant camp with several shrines in a forest at Obiozimini Community in Rivers State,” he said.

“On approach, the suspected militants\cultists opened fire on the troops who subsequently engaged them with superior fire power leading to casualties on the side of suspected kidnappers while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds into an adjoining forest.

“The operation successfully rescued the 2 abducted personnel.”

Mr. Abdullahi added that further search of the campsite led to the rescue of four more civilians that were earlier kidnapped including a lady.

He said the soldiers recovered three pump action guns, eight empty cartridges, a human skull and some bones.

“The camp and shrines were subsequently destroyed while the rescued victims were evacuated to one of our medical facilities in the area.

“In order to arrest the perpetrators of this heinous crime troops are trailing the criminals who fled into the forest.”

 

The official asked members of the public to provide any useful information “to identify these criminals and their whereabouts in order to face justice.”

Despite the seeming ceasefire on oil and gas facilities by militants in the Niger Delta, they have continued with others acts of criminality including kidnapping.

The non-attack on oil facilities, after extensive negotiations with the federal government, has helped Nigeria increase her oil production to about 1.8 million barrels a day.

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