By Okodili Ndidi, Abuja
Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have recorded a major feat with the rescue of 34 kidnap victims during a coordinated raid of kidnappers’ den in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
The victims have been held captive for over one month.
In a statement by the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, the troops had contact with the bandits leading exchange of gunfire before they were overpowered by the “gallant troops”.
According to the statement, “in continuation of the aggressive clearance operation to rid criminal elements out of the North-Central region of the country, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE recorded tremendous successes against Kidnap kingpins.
“Following credible intelligence on the activities of a notorious kidnap syndicate operating in the general area of Igbom village in Nenzev council ward of Logo LGA, troops of Sector 2 and 4, on 16 July 2020 carried out a raid operation on a suspected kidnappers den location at Tomayin village in Logo LGA of Benue State. Troops had contact with the bandits leading to exchange of fire as troops closed in on the hideout .
“The gallant troops responded with superior fire forcing the armed bandits to fled in disarray into the bushes. The determined troops engaged the criminal elements in hot pursuit leading to the killing of one Zwa Ikyegh identified as the ring leader and others escaped with various degrees of gun shots wounds.
The successful encounter led to the rescue of 32 kidnapped victims some of whom have been in captivity for over a month”.
It added that, “all the rescued kidnapped victims have been reunited with their families in different communities in Logo LGA. Troops also recovered one AK 47 rifle, one AK 47 magazine, 6 locally made rifle, one locally made pistol and a magazine. Others include 22 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 2 cartridges, 2 motorcycles and some Charms. The hideout has been equally destroyed.
“In another development, troops of Sector 2 deployed at Gbise in Katsina Ala LGA and Zaki Biam in Ukum LGA of Benue State responded to a distress call on another kidnapping incident at Austoma in Mbanema Council ward of Ukum LGA. Troops promptly mobilized to the scene leading to the arrest of 2 suspects. The suspects are Mr Sealemun and Orduem both of whom are linked to late Terugwa Igbagwa Aka Orjondu.
” Troops recovered one motorcycle which the kidnappers were using for their heinous crimes. The suspects are currently undergoing investigation after which they will be handed over to the Nigeria Police for further necessary action. Troops have continued to dominate the area with patrols and ambushes. Normalcy has since been restored in the general area.
“The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their professionalism and encourages them to intensify the onslaught against the enemies of our country.”