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Soldiers ‘rescued from militants’ shrine’ in Rivers

The joint military task force (JTF) in the Niger Delta says troops have rescued two abducted soldiers and four civilians from a kidnappers’ den in Rivers state.

Ibrahim Abdullahi, spokesman of the force, disclosed this in a statement.

He said the operation followed a report of the kidnap of two soldiers who were in transit for banking services in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of the state.

Abdullahi said after receiving the report, troops were immediately mobilised for rescue operation.

He said suspected militants engaged the troops in a gun duel, leading to casualties on the side of the militants, while others escaped with gunshot injuries.

“On September 18, 2017, at about 7.30am, OPDS headquarters received a report of the kidnap of two soldiers while in transit for banking services in ONELGA, Rivers state,” Abdullahi said.

“Troops were immediately mobilised into action. They discovered a militant camp with several shrines in a forest at Obiozimini community in Rivers state.

“On approaching the forest, the suspected kidnappers opened fire on the troops, who subsequently engaged them with superior firepower, leading to casualties on the side of the suspected kidnappers, while others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot injuries into an adjoining forest.

“The operation successfully rescued the two abducted personnel. Further search of the campsite led to the rescue of four more civilians who were earlier kidnapped, including a lady.’’

Abdullahi said items found in the camp and shrines were three pump action guns, eight empty cartridges, human skulls and some bones.

He added that the camp and shrines were subsequently destroyed, while the rescued victims were taken to one of the military’s medical facilities in the area.

Abdullahi said troops were on the trail of the fleeing suspects, and appealed to members of the public to provide any “useful information that will aid the identification and apprehension of the criminals and their whereabouts”.

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