Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) says that counterinsurgency soldiers in North Central Nigeria have rescued kidnapped persons taken by bandits in Katsina State.
The soldiers working alongside members of the Nigeria Police Force also arrested one Mohammed Saleh, said to be a major bandit informant, recovering arms and ammunition from him.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, who made this known on Wednesday, said the 23 kidnapped persons (8 women and 5 children) have been reunited with their families.
Gen Enenche said in a statement that ‘Troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued to sustain the tempo in their efforts to safeguard lives and properties in the North Central Zone of the country.
‘On 29 December 2020, following credible information on armed bandits’ activities at Wurma Village in Kurfi Local Government Area of Katsina State, troops in conjunction with personnel of the Nigeria Police Force swiftly mobilised to the location. Troops had contact and engaged the bandits who had kidnapped some locals and rustled some livestock from Kwayawa Village in Safana Local Government Area. With superior firepower and support by Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunship, the armed bandits were forced to abandon the kidnapped victims. Consequently, troops rescued 18 women and 5 children as well as recovered 75 rustled livestock. During the encounter, troops also arrested one bandits’ informant named Mohammed Saleh along with some arms and ammunition. The rescued kidnapped victims have been successfully reunited with their families and the recovered livestock handed over to the owners, while the arrested bandits’ informant has been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for further action.’