Troops Recover Weapons, Kill 23 Militants In Gun Battle

Physinews Reports: The Nigerian Army said it had recovered 55
assorted weapons from suspected criminals in
the Niger Delta.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82
Division, Enugu, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahitu,
told newsmen in Enugu on Saturday that the
recoveries were made during a military exercise
tagged “Operation Crocodile Smile”.

He also disclosed that 23 militants and
criminals were killed by soldiers in their bid to
flush out criminals in the area.
The GOC said many of the criminals fled with
various degrees of injury.

He said 38 camps belonging to the militants
and 91 illegal refineries, including bunkering
sites and underground tunnels used by the
suspects, were destroyed in the 10-day
exercise.“The precursor operations were
followed by `Exercise Crocodile Smile’ proper,
which was orchestrated and conducted with
sequencing and lines of operation to upgrade
the skills, expertise and competence of the
troops in land and riverside environments.

“Over 3,000 soldiers were deployed along two
axis on land, creeks and the general littoral
area of the Niger Delta region, while forward-
operating bases were established from where
operations were conducted along the creeks
and littoral area,’’ he said.

Attahiru, however, regretted that four soldiers
died during the exercise, explaining that three
lost their lives in a boat mishap while one died
during cross fire with the militants.

He said the exercise was also used to cement
relations with civilians through humanitarian
services in neighbouring communities.

“Books, stationeries and generators were
donated to some schools while others were
given facelift and infrastructure improvement.

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