The Nigerian Military on Tuesday deployed helicopters, drones and heavy artillery in an operation against criminals operating in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
This followed recent spate of attacks on security operatives in the area.
The operation to flush out the criminals began in the early hours of the morning with the helicopters and drones flying low for proper surveillance as they bombarded camps suspected to be inhabited by the criminals.
Ground troops complimented the bombardment with the use of heavy artillery.
Prior to the operation, the Military had asked residents living in areas suspected to be hiding places of criminals to vacate.
This led to the mass exodus of staff and students of the Federal Polytechnic Ukana.
It was the same with those of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic in Ikot Ekpene.
Army Public Relations Officer, 2 Brigade Nigerian Army, Akwa Ibom state, Captain Godfrey Abakpa while comfirming the operation said no one has been arrested yet.
He also disclosed that it was still uncertain if the criminals were members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) or their Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Essien Udim Local Government is home to Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio.