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In the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, six illicit oil refining facilities have been demolished by Operation Delta Safe’s aerial component.

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The illegal installations were located around 6 nautical miles south of Opu Arugbana, and were claimed to be concentrated within an 80-meter radius.

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Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Nigerian Air Force’s Director of Public Relations and Information, said in a statement on Tuesday that they were given authorization to bomb the refining sites as soon as they discovered they were operational.

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The statement said as follows: “On December 23, 2023, air strikes by the Air Component of Operation Delta Safe destroyed six illegal oil refining sites in Opu Arugbana in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, as part of ongoing efforts to rid the Niger Delta Region of activities of oil thieves and oil pipeline vandals.”

The illicit sites were observed grouped together in an 80-meter-radius around a point approximately 6 nautical miles south of Opu Arugbana. After being verified as operational, permission was acquired to demolish the six locations, thereby deterring the lawbreakers from carrying out their illicit activities.

He said that even though it was a holiday, the service will still be conducting airstrikes nationwide against oil thieves and other criminals.

Air operations against criminals in the Niger Delta and other regions of the country persist without interruption, even throughout the Christmas season. The statement continued, “The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, has praised the efforts of the Air Component Commanders in all the theaters of operation and called on them to not rest until criminal activities are reduced to the barest minimum. Abubakar spent Christmas Day with troops in the Northeast and is currently in Katsina to fete troops of Operation Hadarin Daji.”

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