Troops of the Joint Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, code-named Operation Delta Safe, say they have rescued two abducted soldiers and four civilians from a kidnappers’ den.
The JTF, with headquarters in Igbogene, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, also said the troops discovered human skulls and bones during the raid of the kidnappers’ camp in Rivers State.
The Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre of Operation Delta Safe, Major Ibrahim Abdullahi, said in a statement on Thursday that their operation followed a report of kidnap of two soldiers while on transit for banking services in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers.
He said after the report, the OPDS immediately swung into action by mobilising troops for the rescue operation.
The outfit’s spokesman said when the suspected militants/cultists sighted troops approaching their den, they engaged the troops in a gun battle.
He, however, said during the gun duel, the troops engaged the kidnappers with superior firepower, leading to casualties on the side of the suspected kidnappers, while others escaped into the forest with gunshot wounds .
Abdullahi said, ”On September 18, 2017, about 7:30 am, OPDS headquarters received a report of kidnap of two soldiers while on transit for banking services in One LGA, Rivers State.
”Troops were immediately mobilised, swung into action and discovered a militant camp with several shrines in a forest at Obiozimini community in Rivers State.
”On approaching there, the suspected kidnappers opened fire on the troops who subsequently engaged them with superior fire power, leading to casualties on the side of suspected kidnappers while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds into an adjoining forest.
”The operation successfully rescued the two abducted personnel. Further search of the camp site led to the rescue of four more civilians that were earlier kidnapped, including a lady.”
He said items discovered in the camp and shrines were three pump action guns, eight empty cartridges, human skulls and some bones.
Abdullahi said the camp and shrines were subsequently destroyed, while the rescued victims were evacuated to one of their medical facilities in the area.
He urged members of the public to provide any useful information about the suspects.