Suspected kidnappers killed two persons along the Kaduna-Abuja Road at the weekend, as troops on internal security operations rescued nine kidnap victims along the highway.
The Kaduna State Government disclosed this in a statement yesterday, saying it received operational feedback from the Defence Headquarters’ Operation Thunder Strike (OPTS) following the incident and inquiries from citizens on the development.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed that troops of the OPTS on routine patrol along the Akilubu-Gidan Busa axis on the Kaduna-Abuja road, received a distress call about 4:00 p.m. that bandits blocked the highway.
“The armed bandits opened fire on a bus, forcing the driver to a stop. On getting to the location, the armed bandits had already kidnapped nine persons from an 18-seater bus.
But the troops immediately mobilised and engaged the bandits in a gun battle and rescued nine abducted persons.
“However, the driver and a passenger died. The Kaduna State Government commiserates with families of the deceased and prayed God to grant them eternal rest,” the statement reads.
It said following the development the government assured the people and commuters plying the route that any emerging development regarding the incident would be communicated to them.
“The government also assures citizens of Kaduna State that it will continue to collaborate with the Federal Government to improve security on the highway and its environs.
“It is also working with the Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau, Sokoto and Kano state governments, as well as security agencies and relevant stakeholders to enhance security in the region,” Aruwan added.
Meanwhile, some travelers plying the highway told reporters yesterday that they narrowly escaped being abducted on their way from Niger State.
One of the survivors who pleaded anonymity said: “While we were returning from Minna, Niger State as we approached Akilubu axis, some armed men suddenly jumped on the highway and started shooting. We were lucky to escape stray bullets. I have never seen such a thing in my entire life.”
An Air Force personnel also said the vehicle that conveyed him from Kaduna to Abuja escaped the attack, noting, however, that some military officers swiftly moved into the area to rescue other stranded commuters.