A total of 15 hostages held by pirates in Nigeria’s delta region were rescued by troops operating in the oil-producing state of Bayelsa, said a military spokesman.

The rescue operation took place on Thursday, John Enenche said in a statement sent to Xinhua in Abuja late Tuesday.

The hostages were held in five speed boats owned by the pirates and were freed by the troops who were on routine patrol at the Nembe Owelesu area of Bayelsa, Enenche said.

The pirates who abandoned the hostages had fled into the creeks upon sighting the troops, according to the spokesman.

During the operation, some illegal refineries operated by oil rebels were uncovered, he said, adding arms and stolen crude oil were also seized by the troops. Enditem

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