By Mohammed Tijjani, Kaduna.
The Police Command in Kaduna State says prompt police and military response has foiled an attempt to kidnap 76 victims along Funtua-Zaria Road.
The command spokesman, DSP Muhammad Jalige. said in a statement on Monday in Kaduna that the incident occurred at about 11 p.m. on Friday.
He said that the kidnap attempt was made by a large number of bandits wielding sophisticated weapons, who blocked a section of Funtua-Zaria Road at Gulbala, Giwa Local Government Area.
Jalige, however, said a combined team of police and military mobilized to the location and thwarted the intention of the gunmen who had already herded some passengers into the bush.
“On reaching the location, a Ford open truck with Reg. No. APP 667 XG was found and information gathered had it that a large number of passengers on the truck have been moved off the road by the bandits.
“This development engendered an immediate search-and-rescue operation by the operatives into the adjourning forest.
“In the process, the bandits were encountered and by the sheer force of firepower by the security operatives, they were left with no option than to abort their nefarious mission and take to flight with injuries.
“Thorough combing of the forest over several hours by the crack operatives succeeded in the rescue of large number of victims totalling 76, comprising male and females of different ages,” he added.
Jalige said that preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were passengers in the truck travelling from Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State to different destinations, when they were abducted.
“Operatives are still on operation within the general area in search of the main truck driver and two other passengers who are yet to be accounted for,” he added.
Jalige said that the Commissioner of Police, Yekini Ayoku described the development as an important breakthrough and a demonstration of the imperative for strong inter-service collaboration.
He assured that the inter-agency coordination and collaboration would be strengthened to insulate the public space from enemies of the country.