From Molly Kilete, Abuja

The Defence Media Operations (DMO), yesterday said soldiers on internal security operations in the Niger Delta region of the country destroyed 81 illegal refining sites and arrested 81 suspected oil thieves in the last two weeks.

The soldiers from Operation Delta Safe in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip were said to have discovered and destroyed 254 storage tanks, 173 cooking ovens, 118 dugout pits, and 36 wooden boats.

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Equally, troops recovered 1,060,500 litres of crude oil, 391,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 11 cars, six tankers, eight pumping machines, three motorcycles, two outboard engines, one tricycle, and five AK47 rifles loaded with 10m rounds of 7.62mm special.

Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami, who made the disclosure at a media briefing, yesterday, said the operations conducted between November 17 to December 1, denied oil thieves from making about N500 million  profit.

He said within the period under review, several terrorists were killed, several weapons recovered, kidnapped persons rescued, while 51 Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and their families, comprising 10 males, 15 females, and 26 children surrendered to troops in the North East.