The Nigeria Police Force and the Defence Headquarters have separately revealed how they rescued students abducted from an Islamiya school in Katsina State
A total of 80 students of Hizburrahim Islamiyya Dandume Local Government Area were abducted by unknown gunmen on Saturday night while on their way home, after attending a Maulud procession at Unguwar Al-kasim, a nearby village.
This occurred barely two days after 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, also in Katsina State, were released after spending six days in their abductors’ captitivty.
The students of the Islamiyya school were, however, rescued in the early of Sunday.
In a statement issued by Gambo Isah, the Public Relations Officer of the Katsina State Police Command, the police explained that its operatives moved in following distress calls it recived.
It said its operatives battled with the abductors in a gun duel, leading to the rescue of the students and the four other victims.
The statement read: “On December 19, 2020 around 10pm, a distress call was received by DPO Dandume, that some Islamiyya Students of Hizburrahim Islamiyya, Mahuta village, Dandume LGA of Katsina State, numbering about 80, while on their way back from Maulud occasion celebrated at Unguwan Alkasim village, Dandume to Mahuta village, were accosted by bandits, who had already kidnapped four persons and rustled 12 cows from Danbaure village, Funtua LGA, trying to escape into the forest.
“On receipt of the report, the DPO led Operations Puff Adder, Sharan Daji and vigilante group to the area and engaged the bandits into a fierce gun duel. Subsequently, the teams succeeded in dislodging the bandits and rescued all the 84 kidnapped victims and recovered all the 12 rustled cows. Search parties are still combing the area with a view to arresting the injured bandits and/or recovering their dead bodies. Investigation is ongoing.”
On its part, the Defence Headquarters said troops of the Operation Hadarin Daji and the police laid an ambush for the bandits, but gave the number of the abducted female students as 39.
Major-General John Enenche, Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, said the troops received a distress call around 11.30pm on Saturday from residents of Mahuta village, who suspected that bandits were moving with Islamiya children, mostly girls, and rustled cattle.
The statement read: “In reaction to the distress call, troops quickly mobilised to the scene, laid ambush and blocked the bandits’ route along Daudawa-Kadisau, Sheme Mairuwa and Unguwar Audu village.
“While patiently waiting for the bandits at the ambush and blocking position, troops established contact with bandits and engaged them. During the fierce battle, the troops’ superior firepower forced the bandits to abandon the children and the rustled cattle, thereby forcing the bandits to flee in disarray into the forest.”