The Nigerian Air Force has revealed that its Special Forces rescued 26 passengers kidnapped along the Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Highway in Kaduna State on Wednesday.
This was disclosed in Abuja by the NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Gabkwet said the victims were rescued by the Special Forces on a fighting patrol in the area.
He said they came across five abandoned vehicles with their doors widely opened near Anguwar Yako, adding that on sighting the vehicles, the troops suspected that the occupants may have been kidnapped.
He said based on the suspicion, the troops went into action to rescue them.
He said 26 persons were rescued and taken to the 461 NAF Hospital, Kaduna for thorough medical examination.
Gabkwet said: “Nigerian Air Forcea (NAF) Special Forces (SF) today, 12 January 2022, rescued 26 kidnapped victims while on a fighting patrol along Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road.
“The rescue operation occurred when the SF came across 5 abandoned vehicles with their doors ajar near Anguwar Yako, an indication of forced removal or evacuation and likely kidnap scene.
“Acting on instincts, the SF began exploiting the general scene of the abduction and extended for about 3 kilometres radius well into the bushes while clearing the general area.
“Upon sighting the SF, about 3 kidnapped escapees suddenly came out from the bushes.
“Further search by the SF led to the discovery of 4 different groups of victims hiding in the bushes.
“After a thorough search further into the hinterland, a total of 26 victims were rescued.
“On interrogation, the victims who were traveling from Birnin Gwari to various locations including Kaduna, Minna and Kano, revealed that while enroute, large number of bandits in 3 groups suddenly appeared from the bushes from 3 different directions along the route and surrounded their vehicles.
“However, on sighting the SF, 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 SF.
“The NAF SF have extended their operations within the area with the hope of rescuing the remaining kidnapped victims while those rescued have since been moved to the 461 NAF Hospital Kaduna for thorough medical examination.”