The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Special Forces (SF) has rescued 26 kidnapped victims while on a fighting patrol along Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, the rescue operation occurred when the SF came across five abandoned vehicles with their doors open 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 three kidnapped escapees suddenly came out from the bushes. Further search by the SF led to the discovery of four 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 three groups suddenly appeared from the bushes from three 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.”
Meanwhile, the SF have extended their operations within the area with the hope of rescuing the remaining kidnapped victims.
The director, however, added that those rescued had since been moved to the 461 NAF Hospital, Kaduna, for thorough medical examination.