Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), the military operation in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, rescued 21 hostages from their abductors, who were identified as a local militia group.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO), OPWS, Flight Lieutenant Audu Katty, disclosed this in a statement in Makurdi, the operational headquarters of OPWS on Thursday, Dec. 8.
Katty explained that 20 of the victims who were commuters were rescued OPWS troops along Kente-Chinkai road in Wukari Local Government Area (LGA) of Taraba State on Tuesday.
He added that a local with a machete wound was also rescued in the course of pursuing the militia that had earlier abducted the commuters.
The OPWS spokesman said the local, who was badly wounded, was taken to the primary healthcare centre in Kente for treatment.
Katty said: “On 6th December 2022, the gallant troops of Op Whirl Stroke while responding to distress calls on the activities of a local militia along Kente-Chinkai Road in Wukari LGA of Taraba State mobilised and moved to the scene.
“The local militia in their numbers, dressed in full military attires on sighting advancing troops abandoned their hostages and fled into the bush.”
He added that the troops rescued all the hostages from their abductors.
He continued: “Troops further exploited deep into the bush and rescued an unidentified local with machete injury on his head. The rescued victim has since been taken to Kente Primary Health Care for treatment.”
He stated that the troops thereafter launched a manhunt for the militia and trailed them to their hideout.
“Contact was made with them. Troops responded and overpowered them with superior firepower making the militia flee in disarray with possible gunshot wounds,” he disclosed.
Katty also stressed that Operation Whirl Stroke will continue “to safeguard the lives of innocent citizens across the area of its responsibility”.
He solicited the “cooperation of the locals to continue giving timely information on the activities of criminals.”