Nigeria rescues 26 people from gunmen in north region

by IANS |

Lagos, Jan 14 (IANS) The Nigerian Air Force has said its troops have rescued 26 people from gunmen on a highway in north Nigeria's Kaduna state.

All 26 persons were rescued on Wednesday. Edward Gabkwet, a Spokesperson for the Air Force, on Thursday said in a statement that a team of special forces from the Air Force came across five abandoned vehicles with their doors open while on a fighting patrol along the Birnin Gwari-Kaduna road in the state, which is "an indication of forced removal or evacuation and a likely kidnap scene".

"Acting on instincts, the special forces began exploiting the general scene of the abduction and extended it for about three kilometres, well into the bushes while clearing the general area," Gabkwet added.

Upon sighting the special forces, three victims suddenly came out of the bushes. Further searching by the troops led to the discovery of four different groups of victims hiding in the bushes, he said.

"After a thorough search further into the hinterland, a total of 26 victims were rescued," the Spokesperson added.

Gabkwet said the victims were travelling in several vehicles when a large number of bandits in three groups suddenly appeared from the bushes and surrounded their vehicles, Xinhua news agency reported.

"However, on sighting the special forces, the kidnappers fled into the bushes with a handful of the victims, while the other majority took cover and hid in the bushes until they sighted the special forces," he added.

Armed attacks have been a primary security threat in Nigeria's northern and central regions, resulting in deaths and kidnappings.

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