Troops of Operation Thunder Strike under the auspices of the ongoing Operation Accord, on Thursday, June 25, foiled an attempted kidnap of passengers on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway by armed bandits, Defence Headquarters said.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Friday, said the failed attempt took place between Olams and Alheri camp along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
Enenche said the troops promptly deployed to the scene and engaged the bandits with effective firepower, adding that the criminals were overwhelmed by high-intensity fire, forcing them to flee into the forest in disarray.
He explained that the passengers in the targeted vehicle, a Toyota Hiace Bus with registration number Lagos MUS-944FR travelling from Abuja to Kaduna, managed to escape in various directions into the surrounding bushes during the encounter.
The coordinator added that the troops pursued the bandits deep into the forest in an aggressive posture, and inflicted fatal injuries on them as well as ensure the recovery all the passengers, who escaped into the bush during the encounter.
He further disclosed that the troops were currently exploiting the general area in search of the fleeing bandits with express orders to bring them into custody with an aggressive patrols along the axis.
According to him, it is also important to state that all passengers in the targeted vehicle have been accounted for.
“Consequently, the Military High Command commends troops of Operation Thunder Strike for their vigilance and professionalism exhibited during this operation.
“The troops are further encouraged to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of armed bandits along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.
“The general public is hereby reassured of their safety while travelling along the Abuja-Kaduna corridor and indeed along all other highways across the country,” he said.