Date: February 28, 2024 8:27 pm
The Katsina State Government has said rescue operations have commenced in response to 60 wedding guests who were kidnapped by gunmen in Damari town in the state.
No fewer than 60 wedding guests who were believed to be escorting a bride home were kidnapped by a terrorist gang in the Sabuwa Local Government Area of Katsina State.
A resident confirmed to our correspondent in a telephone interview on Friday that the incident occurred on Thursday at about 9 pm.
The state Internal Security Commissioner, Muazu Nasiru, speaking through his spokesman, Tukur Ali, on Saturday, said the government was aware of the kidnap of the wedding guests and had launched operations to ensure that the victims were rescued.
The Commissioner said, “We are aware of the kidnap incident at Sabuwa and we have launched rescue operations to ensure that the victims regain their freedom. Thanks.”
In a text message confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abubakar Aliyu, stated that 35 women were abducted by suspected armed bandits.
The text read, “A group of women en route to Unguwar Mujiya village, Dandume LGA, from Gamji village, Sabuwa LGA, came back from a wedding ceremony, upon reaching a point between Sabuwa and Dandume LGAs, some suspected armed bandits ambushed and kidnapped about 35 women.
“The command has deployed its intelligence and operational assets towards ensuring the prompt and unhurt rescue of the kidnapped victims. Further developments will be communicated in due course.”
Earlier, a source had informed our correspondent that three local security volunteers lost their lives in the hurriedly coordinated effort to rescue the victims when the incident occurred.
“Most of those the hoodlums attacked and abducted were those who were already crowded and riding in an open van called canter vehicle.
“The victims were initially over 70 mostly friends to the bride but several others escaped after jumping off the moving cabter van when the terrorists hijacked the van and took over the driving of the van,” the source stated.
Sunday PUNCH gathered that the Sabuwa area where the abduction took place, apart from being an agrarian area, is among the local government areas being heavily tormented by bandits in the state.
The Chairman of Dandume Local Government Council, Alhaji Basiru Musa, also confirmed the incident.
While some unconfirmed reports suggest that a few kidnapped women managed to escape, the chairman promised to verify and provide updates.
He clarified that although the women were from Dandume, the criminals intercepted them on their way from Sabuwa Local Government Area at about 9 pm.
In a related incident about the same time, gunmen reportedly from the Siddi forest have been confirmed to have infiltrated the Tashar Nadaya, near the Gazari district border in Sabuwa LGA.
The criminals reportedly killed a commercial motorcycle rider and made away with his bike.
It was also learned that they opened fire on a group of four individuals and confiscated their motorcycles