Troops of the Operation Whirl Stroke have rescued 32 kidnapped persons in Benue State, some of which have been held in captivity for over a month.
The troops also killed the gang leader of a kidnap ring, Zwa Ikyegh, and arrested others in its renewed fight against kidnapping in the country.
This was confirmed in a statement issued on Friday by the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche.
According to the defence spokesman, the development follows credible intelligence on the activities of a notorious kidnap syndicate operating in the general area of Igbom village in Nenzev council ward of Logo Local Government Area of the state.
“Troops had contact with the bandits leading to exchange of fire as troops closed in on the hideout. The gallant troops responded with superior fire forcing the armed bandits to fled in disarray into the bushes.
“The determined troops engaged the criminal elements in hot pursuit leading to the killing of one Zwa Ikyegh identified as the ring leader and others escaped with various degrees of gunshots wounds.
“The successful encounter led to the rescue of 32 kidnapped victims some of whom have been in captivity for over a month,” the statement read in part.
Enenche noted that all the rescued kidnapped victims have been reunited with their families in different communities in Logo local council.
Exhibits recovered are one AK 47 rifle, one AK 47 magazine, 6 locally made rifle, one locally made pistol, and a magazine.
Others include 22 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition, 2 cartridges, 2 motorcycles, and some charms.