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UPDATED: Operation Thunder Strike rescues 7 kidnapped Offa travelers

The seven rescued victims at Yalian International School in Rijana, Kachia local government area of Kaduna State.

Troops of Operation Thunder Strike have rescued seven kidnapped persons, including a seven-year-old girl in Rijana village of Kaduna State.

The victims; Aishat Bisola (26), Ahmad Abdulrafiu (26), Maryam Abubakar (7), Suleiman Kadoka (25), Lawal Temitope (23), Bala Abdullahi (52) – the driver of the vehicle and Abdulrazak Okunola (35) from Offa were kidnapped along the Kaduna-Abuja express way on Sunday on their way to Kaduna from Offa.

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The troops, comprising Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, DSS and NSCDC also recovered two AK47, 130 rounds of ammunition, five magazine, two mobile phones, N100, 000 and three camouflage.

Speaking to journalist at Rijana village, the Force Commander, Operation Thunder Strike, Colonel Ibrahim Gambari said troops, led by Captain Uloko raided and rescued the victims from the kidnappers’ den at 4.30am on Wednesday.

He emphasized that the main mission of the operation was to contain the incessant killings and kidnapping on Abuja-Kaduna expressway.

According to him: “Since the inception of the operation, we have been trying our best to put an end to ugly incidences that have been occurring on the high way.

He said: “Before the operation was launched, several cases of kidnapping had been occurring on a daily basis, but since the inception of the operation, we have been able to nip in the bud such incidences and most of the cases that were recorded usually happen in the night and that is why the Kaduna state government stopped the mounting of road blocks along the road.”

He stated that since the matter was reported, they have been working tirelessly to ensure that the innocent civilians rejoin their families, adding that: “In the process, we lost one of our sources who gives us information.”

He added that: “We are here to assist the people and in the process, we have collaborators living among the civil populace, people know these people, but they will not give them out and that has been the main problem.”

One of the victims, Aishat Bisola, a Corps member serving in Kudan local government area of the state, while narrating her ordeal, said they were kidnapped on their way to Kaduna from Kwara state around 9.30pm on Sunday.

She said they trekked for over three hours before they reached their finally destination which was on top of a heel in the bush.

According to her, “they collected all our phones and money while they were negotiating ransom between N10million to N2million.

“The kidnappers used to beat us everyday, they even covered the face of another man and threatened to kill him if he does not bring money.

“They did not give us any food or water and we sat on the rock under rain and sun without any shelter from that Sunday till Wednesday when we were rescued.”

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