The Military Joint Task Force operation to protect oil installationsÂ in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield,Â on FridayÂ said it foiled anÂ attack on Agipâ€™s oilfield and has arrested 19 suspected vandals in
several operations since May 2016.This was contained in a statement made by Isa Ado,a colonel andÂ spokesman of the JTF, which was made available to the News Agency ofÂ Nigeria, NAN.
Ado said while the troops were on patrol on June 9 along Brass waterÂ ways of Bayelsa foiled an attempt by suspected pipeline vandals toÂ destroy Agipâ€™s oil pipeline at Okpoma Community.
He explained that the suspected vandals had dug and planted dynamitesÂ beneath the pipeline location in a swamp for detonation before theÂ troops foiled the sabotage operation and recovered two dynamite
detonators, cable wire and battery.
Ado added that on May 28, troops of the JTF arrested six suspectedÂ pipeline vandals and oil thieves in Ogbia Local Government Area ofÂ Bayelsa along Ebelebiri and Agba communities.
Eight boats loaded with illegally acquired crude oil were destroyedÂ while the suspects were handed over to the prosecuting agency.
During a cordon and search operation in Oporoma Community of Delta,Â ten suspected pipeline vandals were arrested and weapons recovered,Â including one pistol, 195 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 14Â handheld radio set, 30 detonating cords and several phones without SIMÂ cards.
In a similar development, the Maritime Component of the Joint Force,Â the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS, Delta on May 26 and June 14,Â respectively, arrested three suspected coordinators of several
pipeline bombings across the region.
The spokesman added that one of the arrested suspects reportedlyÂ confessed to being part of the group that bombed the NigerianÂ Petroleum Developing Company, NPDC, crude oil pipeline at Escravos,
Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta.
Ado said that several bomb related items were recovered from theÂ vandals who bombed the Escravos facility.
He assured that the joint military force will not be deterred by theÂ activities of criminals and remains highly committed in carrying outÂ its mandate professionally within the Niger Delta region.
According to him, efforts are underway to round up fleeing criminalsÂ including pipeline vandals and to dismantle all militant camps in theÂ region.
He urged people of the region to support the force by providingÂ credible and timely information to aid their operations.