From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Seventeen people suspected to have been abducted by gunmen in Ughelli, Delta State, have been rescued by operatives of the state police command.
The victims were rescued following a shootout with the gunmen who had seized a hotelier, Zion Onofighe, and 16 of his workers in one fell swoop.
Two suspected armed robbers were gunned down in Asaba, the state capital, during a gun battle with the police.
In the Ughelli case, the 16 workers were attacked by gunmen at the hotelier’s building site in Ogor community, Ughelli.
Patrol teams of operatives who were dispatched to the scene engaged the hoodlums in a shootout, rescuing the workers unhurt, and also recovering a Toyota Highlander SUV.
The Acting Public Relations Officer of the Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe, who confirmed the rescue of the victims in Asaba on Thursday said a manhunt for the fleeing suspects was ongoing.
Edafe also confirmed the Asaba gun duel where two suspected armed robbers were killed.
He said the Command’s Rapid Respoy Squad (RRS) received a distressed call was that robbers/kidnappers were operating around the FRSC office in Asaba and mobilised to the scene and engaged the hoodlums in an exchange of gunfire.
‘Two of them were fatally injured and later died, while others escaped. One AK47 rifle with BREECH No. 19567, and two magazines with 18 rounds of live ammunition were recovered,’ Edafe said.
He added that with the breakthrough, the Command’s determination to reduce crime in Delta State ‘is fast yielding results.’