The Nigerian Army said on Tuesday that it arrested 17 suspected cultists and armed robbers alleged to have carried out several killings and theft in Rivers.
Capt. Eli Lazarus, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, presented the suspects, arms and ammunition to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
He said that several arms and live ammunition were seized during raids aimed at stopping the current wave of killings and armed robbery in the state.
“Following heightened criminal activities, the 2 Brigade conducted several raid operations on criminals and cultists’ hideouts in the state.
“These operations led to the recovery of several weapons including 16 AK 47 rifles, five General Purpose Machine guns and two Fabrique National rifles.
“Others are six Pump Action rifles, three G-3 rifles, 11 Short Dane guns, six locally made pistols, two Beretta pistols, two Revolver pistols and nine pieces of dynamite,” he said.
Lazarus said that live ammunition seized from the suspects were three G-3 magazines, 11 Fabrique National magazines, 15 AK 47 rifle magazines and 508 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition.
He listed other ammunition to include 313 rounds of 7.62mm (special) ammunition, 14 rounds of 0.9mm ammunition and three cartridges.
The army spokesman said that troops also recovered from the suspects, military boots, belts, three lanyards and one fragmental jacket.
“The operations were conducted at Ahoada East, Ogbogoro community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area; Omoku in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and Isiokpo in Ikwerre LGA,” he said.
Lazarus said the operation would continue until other cultists, kidnappers, armed robbers were either arrested or chased out from the state.
He called on members of the public to provide security agencies with timely information that would lead to arrest of criminals in the state and in its environs.