Troops neutralise insurgents, rescue kidnapped victims in Niger, Kaduna


Troops from the Nigerian Army’s 1 Division have neutralised 14 insurgents and rescued kidnapped victims in recent operations in Niger and Kaduna states, the military announced Sunday.

In a statement via X, army spokesman Lt. Col. Musa Yahaya said the troops cleared out insurgent hideouts, making “significant recoveries” of weapons and freeing captives.

“On Saturday in Niger State, soldiers engaged insurgents at Madawaki village, killing two and forcing others to flee. They recovered AK-47 rifles, magazines, and a motorcycle.

“At the camp of slain insurgent leader Ali Kachalla, troops rescued 13 male kidnap victims taken in October. They also found a passport linked to a high-profile insurgent affiliate.

“Troops proceeded to the camp of eliminated insurgents leader, Ali Kachalla where his foot soldiers cowardly absconded on troops’ approach.

“Search of the camp led to the rescue of 13 kidnap victims, all males. The victims revealed to have been abducted in Niger State on 13 October 2023.

“Items recovered from the camp included an international passport suspected to belong to a high profile affiliate of the insurgents,” the statement noted.

Similar raids in Kaduna State on Thursday and Friday resulted in eight insurgents killed and caches of weapons, cash and vehicles seized, Yahaya said.

“An ambush near Maro junction freed one abductee and led to three kidnappers killed. Early Saturday, another insurgent was neutralized in Kwanar Batero.

“Also, troops operating at the Kachia axis on 21 December 2023 in response to a kidnap incident successfully launched an ambush along Maro junction and made contact with the criminal kidnappers.

“In the fire fight that ensued, troops neutralized 3 of the kidnappers with others escaping with gunshot wounds. Troops recovered the sum of fifteen thousand naira, two mobile phones, one motorcycle and two cutlasses and also rescued an abducted person.

“The rescued victim, Mr Rabiu Ahmed (25 years old) was rushed to a nearby military hospital. He was subsequently treated, and his dispossessed items returned to him and reunited with his family,” the statement added.

Commander of Operation Whirl Punch, Maj. Gen. Valentine Okoro, praised the troops for denying insurgency in the region. He said the army remains committed to stabilising security in northern Nigeria.

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