ISWAP terrorists kidnap six Borno farmers
• Troops rescue 69 persons in Kaduna, Bauchi, arrest six suspected bandits
• Birnin Gwari inhabitants hail military, others for raid
Suspected Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists have kidnapped six farmers in Mafa Local Council of Borno State.
The farmers were abducted while they were working on their farmlands along Maiduguri/Dikwa road.
Counter-insurgency expert in the Lake Chad region, Zagazola Makama, disclosed in Maiduguri, yesterday: “The victims, who are mostly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), went missing in Bulagarji village near Mafa town.”
Their relatives said the insurgents attacked the farmers and took them to an unknown location in the early hours of Wednesday.
The Guardian learnt that the terrorists were demanding N5 million for their release.
HOWEVER, troops patrolling Ungwan Namama, along Zaria–Kano road, have rescued three kidnapped persons, Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, has said.
Aruwan said the troops came in contact with migrating bandits in the area and engaged them, forcing them to abandon their three captives and hastily escaped.
The rescued victims were identified as Abdullahi Lawal, Sadiya Salimanu and her 10-month-old child, Fatima.
“Also recovered from the bandits were nine rustled animals (one cow and eight sheep).
“The rescued persons have been reunited with their families, while the recovered animals were handed over to local authorities for proper identification and retrieval,” the commissioner said.
ALSO, Bauchi State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abdulrazak Zaki, has disclosed that security agencies have rescued 66 hostages from bandits.
Disclosing this to select journalists, yesterday, Zaki said the state witnessed a surge in criminal activities in the last few months, assuring residents of the rural areas of maximum security and tranquility.
The commissioner said that most of the 66 victims, who were rescued in various local councils, were not indigenes of Bauchi.
“We have received another influx of some strangers who are settling in Lame/Burra Forest. We heard that they came in with their camels. Our security agencies are engaging them to ascertain whether they are criminals or good settlers,” he added.
SIMILARLY, troops of Operation Forest Sanity (OPFS) have raided the camp of a notorious kidnap kingpin, known as Lawal Kwalba, in Rafin Dawa, Dende area of Chikun Local Council, Kaduna State.
Aruwan said, yesterday, that the troops arrested some suspects close to the camp, and recovered materials suspected to be for production of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
“The troops cleared the camp of a notorious bandit, Lawal Kwalba, in Rafin Dawa. After clearing the camp, they recovered some batteries and 27 bags of fertiliser. These materials indicate likely plans to manufacture IEDs, considering the bandits’ close alliance with terrorists.
“One motorcycle and two mobile phones were recovered, as the bandits took to their heels before the troops’ arrival.”
FOR dislodging the terrorists in Birnin-Gwari, officials of the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU) have commended the military and volunteer security groups.
BEPU statement, yesterday: “Troops and local volunteers have cleared bandits/terrorists’ hideout around Kuriga/Manini general area in Birnin Gwari and rescued six female victims kidnapped from Birnin Gwari, Kuriga, Gyam and Bagoma towns.”
The Chairman, Usman Kassai, said: “BEPU is indeed elated by the success recorded this week by the Joint security task force in many parts of Kaduna and neighboring states, where terrorists had being boldly killing, abducting and maiming innocent and unarmed citizens.
“BEPU, therefore, encourages our security personnel to sustain the onslaught against the terrorists to their hideouts in the forests in Birnin-Gwari.”