A fresh attack by bandits last Saturday night to kidnap another set and scores of Islamic school students have been foiled in Dandume local government area of Katsina State.
Information from the area revealed that the students (Islammiyya students) numbering over hundred attend Maulud celebration in a neighbouring village, Unguwar Al-Kasim, and were on their way home, Mahuta village, when the incident happened.
A source in the area, Sagir Dandume said his younger sister, was among the Islammiyya students kidnapped by the bandits but have since regained freedom.
Sagir said, “the students were in hundreds. They went to attend Maulud celebration in neighbouring village. You know the tradition is during the Maulud celebration, the students reciprocate the gestures and often attend neighbouring villages celebration. So it was on their way returning around Unguwa Babban Audu when they ran into the bandits who have just finished attack from a village. They kidnapped some persons from the village and now joined the children among those the kidnap victims.
“So calls were put across to the neighbouring villages on the fresh attack which led all the people and vigilantes to come out and put the bandits in middle. And the victims were rescued. The rustled livestock too were rescued.
“After they were rescued by the local vigilantes, they slept in the bush and it was this morning that they returned home.”
The Spokesperson, Katsina State Police Command, SP Gambo Isah, has on Sunday morning confirmed the incident.
SP Isah said the security operatives and local vigilante engaged the bandits in a gun duel leading to the rescuing of 84 persons (80 students and four other persons earlier kidnapped by the bandits).
He said, “At about 2200hrs on Saturday, a distress call was received by DPO Dandume, that some Islamiyya Students of Hizburrahim Islamiyya, Mahuta village, Dandume LGA of Katsina state, numbering about Eighty (80), while on their way back from Maulud occasion celebrated at Unguwan Alkasim village, Dandume to Mahuta village, were accosted by bandits who had already kidnapped four(4) persons and rustled twelve (12) cows from Danbaure village, Funtua LGA, trying to escape into the forest.
“On receipt of the report, the DPO led Operations “Puff Adder, Sharan Daji and Vigilante group to the area and engaged the bandits into a fierce gun duel.
“Subsequently, the teams succeeded in dislodging the bandits and rescued all the eighty four (84) kidnapped victims and recovered all the twelve rustled cows. Search parties are still combing the area with a view of arresting the injured bandits and/or recovery of their dead bodies.
“Investigation is ongoing,” SP Isah however stated.
Meanwhile, the incident is coming barely hours after the release of the 344 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara kidnapped by the bandits penultimate Friday.