80 Islamic students kidnapped in Katsina regain freedom


The Police in Katsina on Sunday confirmed the abduction of another set of 80 students from an Islamiya school in the state on Saturday night.

All the 80 students and another four victims have, however, been rescued by security operatives.

It was learned that the 80 students were returning from an Islamic occasion when they ran into the bandits, who had earlier kidnapped the four victims and rustled some cows.

Following distress calls, security operatives moved in and tackled the bandits, leading to the rescue of the students and the four other victims.

According to the police, there was no casualty during the gun duel.

The spokesman for the Katsina Police Command, Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation had commenced.

His statement read in part, “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.”

Meanwhile, 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.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, 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.

He said, “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.”

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