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Gunmen kidnap travellers in Osun, kill one

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A gang of suspected gunmen on Tuesday night ambushed and abducted some passengers at Ajebamidele village, along Osogbo-Ibokun road in Osun State, killing a passenger in the process.

The identity of the dead victim was unknown at the time of filing this report. The body of the slain passenger has been deposited at the morgue of Osun State General Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo.

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The notorious gang, suspected to be herders, reportedly barricaded the road around 8:00 p.m. before ambushing some vehicles plying the road.

It was gathered that the criminals robbed some passengers of their money and other valuables and left the scene after shooting one of their victims. The robbers also injured some other passengers before escaping into the bush with some passengers.

When contacted on telephone yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mrs Yemisi Opalola, confirmed the incident. Opalola said two passengers were injured by the robbers.

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She disclosed further that the suspects escaped the scene after the robbery attack and that the police were on their trail.

“We cannot ascertain if people were kidnapped or not. But there were many vehicles on the road without owners or passengers in them. Some persons said they were kidnapped while we sensed that they might have run into the forest themselves for safety. The police and the state Joint Task Force (JTF) are currently combing the forest,” she told our correspondent.

During the robbery, The Guardian gathered that distress calls were made by some residents who alerted security agencies to come to the rescue of the victims. To this end, the Osun State Security Network, code-named Amotekun, arrived on the scene after the robbers had left. The corps members met the barricade mounted by the robbers and removed them.

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According to the Field Commander of Amotekun in the state, Comrade Amitolu Shittu, the prompt intervention of the Amotekun Corps saved other road users who ran into the barricade mounted by the robbers.

Operatives of the corps were in the bush since Tuesday night searching for the kidnappers and their victims. Shittu said the number of passengers abducted by the gunmen is yet to be ascertained.

A villager, Rufu Adekunle, told newsmen that the gun-wielding herdsmen blocked the road and stopped vehicles travelling along the route. However, a bus driver who was trying to manoeuver his way in a bid to avoid the kidnappers drew their ire as they began to shoot at the vehicle, killing a passenger.

“There were different gunshots last night and we saw many vehicles plying the road turning back,” the witness said.

“After their operation, we realised that one person was killed while many cars were seen without passengers or their owners. The gunmen have kidnapped them. Also, we saw pellets of AK-47 used at the scene.”
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