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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Rescue operation saves Zamfara university students and staff after 207 days

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The Coordinator, National Counter-terrorism Centre, Adamu Laka, has narrated how 22 students and staff of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State, were abducted by terrorists last year and rescued by security agents 207 days after.

Mr Laka, a major general, said the terrorists abducted 15 students and seven workers of the university in September from three off-campus hostels at Sabon Gida, one of the university’s hosting communities on the outskirts of Gusau, the state capital.

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“Last year bandits armed with various weapons attacked 3 off-campus students’ hostels at Sabon Gida in Gusau LGA of Zamfara State and kidnapped several persons including female students of the Federal University Gusau alongside some male artisans.

“Others were a private security guard and a protocol officer of the University (both male). The bandits ransacked the hostel, and carted away foodstuff, mobile phones, laptops, ATM cards, cash and other valuables”, Mr Laka said.

The terrorists subsequently took the captives to an unknown location on motorbikes and on foot through a town in Tsafe LGA in Zamfara State.

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Search and rescue operation

Mr Laka said a search and rescue operation was conducted by a combined team of law enforcement agencies and the abductees were subsequently released in three batches.

He said the first batch was rescued on 15 March, while the second batch was rescued on 12 April. The last batch was rescued two days later on Sunday 14 April.

“All the abductees were profiled at the National Counter-terrorism Centre (NCTC) while the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) Medical Team examined them and administered minor treatments on the bruises sustained by three of the abductees.

“Four of them were diagnosed with malaria and are being treated. None of the females was molested and all the females tested negative for pregnancy test. ​Given the foregoing, the NCTC is hereby handing over the 22 abductees to ONSA for further necessary action”, Mr Laka said.

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Meanwhile, PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported how the terrorists moved the abducted students to the Kwiambana Game Reserve – a dreaded forest that links many states in Nigeria’s North-west and North-central regions.

The larger part of the forest is located in Dansadau emirate of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The reserve is believed to be controlled by terrorists loyal to Ali Kachallah and Dogo Gide – who are believed to be the masterminds of mass abductions in Nigerian schools.

The Dansadau Emirate covers 492 square kilometres of the 1180 square kilometres of Zamfara State.

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