Just In: Bandits Abduct 15 Passengers in Katsina
No fewer than 15 passengers travelling in a commercial vehicle with registration number KZR 345ZT, were on Sunday abducted by heavily armed gunmen suspected to be bandits along the Tsakskiya-Ummadau road in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The incident, according to eyewitness, occurred at about 3pm, when the over 20 bandits ambushed the J5 bus conveying the victims which were said to be returning from Jibia market.
THISDAY reliably gathered that no fewer than 15 of the passengers in the ill-fated commercial bus, which was reported to be carrying 18 passengers, were kidnapped by the hoodlums.
An eyewitness, Aliyu Rumawa, who confirmed the abduction of the passengers in a telephone interview Monday, said the hoodlums upon seeing the vehicle, started shooting sporadically into the air to frighten the victims before unveiling their mission.
Rumawa, who expressed shock over what he described as the audacious activities of bandits in the state, said: “Fifteen out of 18 passengers in the bus were taken away by the bandits, numbering about 20 and were heavily armed. The passengers were returning from Jibia market and most of them are traders.”
He admonished security agencies in the state to intensify surveillance in villages and communities in Safana and other front line local government areas of the state in order to ward off banditry, kidnapping and other nefarious activities bedevilling the state.
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isah, while confirming the incident, said only nine passengers were abducted by the hoodlums and four had been rescued by the operatives of Operation Puff Adder.
Isah, a Superintendent of Police, said: “It is nine passengers not 15. What happened was that yesterday (Sunday) at about 15:30 hours, bandits abducted about nine passengers in a J5 bus with registration number KZR 345ZT.
“After the incident, the DPO led a team of Operation Puff Adder into the forest. They were able to rescue four among those passengers, while the remaining five victims were taken away by the bandits. Efforts are on by our operatives to rescue the remaining passengers.”