Kidnap victims escape as troops raid bandit camps near Kaduna-Abuja highway
By Matthew Eloyi
Some civilians abducted by bandits and held hostage in makeshift structures have escaped as the Air Component of Operation Gama Aiki (OPGA) eliminated scores of armed bandits in Kusarsu village, a community along Abuja-Kaduna highway in Niger State.
A military intelligence officer who was involved in the operation told newsmen that the hideout and logistics base of the bandits were discovered at Kusarsu, while the movement of some bandits from Kusarsu towards Kaduna-Abuja Road was also observed earlier within the week.
The source added that a large number of armed bandits were also gathered at settlements in Gaude and Dutsen Magaji.
“Subsequently, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft under OPGA were scrambled in the early hours of 26 November 2021 to take out the targets.
“Overhead Kusarsu, the NAF combat crew sighted several armed bandits gathered at the locations and subsequently launched a coordinated strike after which the location was seen engulfed in flames.
“The aftermath of the strike also revealed remnants of surviving bandits fleeing the location. It was also observed that about 50 metres from the target location, several persons suspected to be kidnapped victims were observed escaping out of a makeshift structure and fleeing to nearby civilian settlements.
“Similar strikes by NAF platforms at bandits’ locations in Gaude and Dutsen Magaji had the same effects as remnants of the bandits were observed to be scampering from the location,” the source revealed.