TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY MIKE SMITH Joint Military Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lt.Col. Onyema Nwachukwu speaks on illegal oil refineries and miltary operations to dislodge oil thieves in Bayelsa State of Niger Delta on April 9, 2013. Shell Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) had threatened to shut down production in April for nine days in the entire Nembe Trunk Line to remove a number of bunkering points on pipelines vandalised by oil thieves in the region. Since 2009, SPDC has experienced an upsurge in vandalisation of pipeline network by criminals causing severe environmental devastation and forcing the company to lose 60,000 barrels daily this year. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said yesterday that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, deployed to counter banditry in the North-Central have rescued three kidnapped victims in a building located in Gana’s family compound at Gbise in Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.

A statement from Defence spokesman, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, yesterday said the victims, a man and two women were rescued during a dawn raid in the early hours of Friday, April 26, 2019, when troops stormed a building reportedly belonging to a notorious bandits’ leader, Gana.

He said the visibly traumatized victims claimed they were abducted about two months ago at Gboko by a gang of kidnappers and subsequently relocated to Gbise community.

He said troops are still on the trail of the criminals, who fled their enclave after they were overpowered in a shootout with the troops.

He said troops also destroyed the building which served as the kidnappers’ hideout.

Nwachukwu added that the rescued persons have been handed over to authorities of the Benue State government for medical attention before reuniting them with their families.

He also said troops of Operation Whirl Stroke deployed to Giza in Nasarawa State arrested a suspected bandit during a raid on a hideout at Alima, near Kadarko in Nasarawa State.

He said the suspect, who was intercepted with a locally made rifle and some quantity of gun powder is currently assisting in preliminary investigations after which he will be handed over to an appropriate prosecuting security agency.

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