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Police confirms release of 97 kidnapped victims in Zamfara

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Police in Zamfara on Tuesday confirmed the release of 97 persons abducted by bandits in Shinkafi and Tsafe local government areas of the state.

The state’s Commissioner of Police, Ayuba Elkanah, who addressed journalists at the Command Headquarters in Gusau, said 68 people were released in Shinkafi and 29 others in Tsafe.

He added that the freed hostages include seven pregnant women, 19 babies, and 16 minors.

The victims, according to the police commissioner, were abducted from three villages – Adarawa, Gana, and Bayawuri in Rijiya District of Gusau LGA sometime in September last year.

A notorious bandit in the state, Bello Turji, had on Monday released 52 victims kidnapped by his group.

The hostages were released just three days after the military killed two bandit commanders, Alhaji Auta and Kachalla Ruga, during raids on the hoodlums’ hideouts at Gusami Forest and Tsamre Village in Birnin Magaji local government area of Zamfara State.

Elkanah said: “Following an extensive pressure mounted as a result of the ongoing military operation around the camp of a notorious bandits’ kingpin known as Bello Turji that covers Shinkafi, Zurmi and Birnin Magaji Local Government areas, on January 3, 2022, police tactical operatives deployed at Shinkafi axis received an intelligence report that some kidnapped victims were seen stranded in the bush.

READ ALSO: Police arrests 20-year-old bandit notorious for kidnapping, cattle rustling in Zamfara

“The police operatives in collaboration with genuine repentant bandits and vigilante swung into action and rescued 68 victims from the forest.

“The victims were in captivity for over three months and they include 33 male adults, seven male children, three female children, and 25 women including pregnant/nursing mothers respectively. The victims hailed from Magarya, Maradun, Gusau of Zamfara State, and Sabon Birni LGA in Sokoto State.

“On the same day, Monday, police tactical operatives deployed in Tsafe axis acted on intelligence report and stormed Kunchin Kalgo forest in Tsafe LGA where they rescued 29 kidnapped victims.”

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