By Augustine Osayande
Nigerian troops of “Operation WHIRL STROKE” have rescued 34 kidnapped victims and arrested suspected kidnappers in Igbom village in Nenzev council ward of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
Confirming the report, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major General John Enenche in a statement on Friday said following credible intelligence on the activities of a notorious kidnap syndicate operating in the general area, troops of Sector 2 and 4, carried out a raid operation on a suspected kidnappers’ den at Tomayin village in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.
He said the troops had contact with the bandits, leading to exchange of fire as troops closed in on the hideout.
Enenche further stated that the troops responded with superior fire, forcing the bandits to flee in disarray into the bush.
He said the determined troops engaged the criminal elements in hot pursuit, leading to the killing of one Zwa Ikyegh identified as the ring leader while others escaped with various degrees of gun shots wounds.
Enenche said the successful encounter led to the rescue of 32 kidnapped victims some of whom had been in captivity for over a month.
He added that all the rescued kidnapped victims had been reunited with their families in different communities in Logo Local Government Area.
He said the troops also recovered 1 AK 47 rifle, 1 AK 47 magazine, 6 locally made rifle, 1 locally made pistol and a magazine.
Enenche said 22 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 2 cartridges, 2 motorcycles and some Charms and their hideout were destroyed.
Meanwhile troops of Sector 2 deployed in Gbise in Katsina Ala Local Government Area and Zaki Biam in Ukum Local Government Area also responded to a distress call on another kidnapping incident at Austoma in Mbanema Council ward of Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.
Enenche said the troops promptly mobilized to the scene, leading to the arrest of 2 suspects.
He said the suspects, Messrs Sealemun and Orduem both of whom were linked to the late Terugwa Igbagwa Aka Orjondu, were currently undergoing investigation after which they would be handed over to the Nigeria Police for further necessary actions.
Enenche said the troops also recovered one motorcycle which the kidnappers were using for their heinous crimes.
He said the troops had continued to dominate the area with patrols and ambushes, adding that normalcy have since been restored in the general area.
He said the Military High Command congratulated the gallant troops on their professionalism and encouraged them to intensify the onslaught against the enemies of the country.