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Bandits Return To Abuja-Kaduna Highway, Abduct 30

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This is the first time in more than ten months when the security along the Abuja–Kaduna road artery was breached.

Findings by this newspaper revealed that the last reported incident on the road was on March 1, 2023 when 23 people were abducted.

A former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani confirmed the attack on his X page, disclosing that two of his friends narrowly escaped being kidnapped by the bandits.

He also said that the bandits blocked the road and operated for some time even though there were more security operatives on the road than there used to be in the past. 

Bandits, on Sunday, attacked travellers on the Abuja–Kaduna highway and abducted over 30 people, witnesses and community leaders told the Daily Trust yesterday.

The abduction took place at Dogon-Fili near Katari, along the Kaduna- Abuja highway in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Sani said two of his friends from both opposition and ruling parties who were returning to Abuja from Kaduna narrowly escaped during the bandits’ attack. 

Sani said: “Just when we felt safer, last night (Sunday) kidnappers returned to the Kaduna-Abuja Road. They blocked the road and abducted scores of persons around 9pm near Katari village. Two of my honourable friends from both the ruling and opposition parties had to run through the bush like Usain Bolt. But despite this incident, there is a stronger security presence along the route than it used to be in the past.” 

A resident of Katari, Suleiman Dan Baba, said the incident happened around 9:33pm when the bandits, wielding AK-47 rifles, emerged from the bush and blocked the two lanes, adding that they operated for close to 45 minutes. 

He also narrated that the bandits opened fire and deflated the tyres of some vehicles, which he said forced drivers, including commercial vehicles to stop. 

“The bandits forced travellers to alight from their vehicles at gunpoint, before moving them into the bush,” the source said. 

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Another resident of Jere, Samaila Shehu, said the incident happened at a distance of about one kilometre away from Jere, and over 30 travellers were abducted at the scene. 

Daily Trust learnt that the bandits, who divided themselves into two groups, also invaded Bishini and Kokore communities located along Abuja-Kaduna highway and also whisked away an unspecified number of villagers. 

Shuaibu Adamu Jere, a community leader, also confirmed the incidents, stating that his relative escaped the attack near Dogon Fili, close to Katari town on Sunday. He said that a driver was injured, and two vehicles, a Sharon and another small car, were found empty by the roadside after the incident. 

“Yes, the incident happened around 9:30pm, and the operation lasted about 45 minutes around Dogon Fili near Katari on Sunday. The driver of one of the vehicles was shot and left at the scene. One of my relatives escaped the attack,” he said. 

He could not however specify the number of people abducted as the attack took place at night, but said the injured driver was rushed to an undisclosed hospital for treatment. 

Another resident of Katari, a lawyer, who prefers not to be named, also confirmed that the highway was blocked on Sunday night as he was preparing to return to Kaduna. 

 According to him, the soldiers stationed around 500 meters from Katari repelled the bandits.

“I was told the bandits blocked the road that night before the soldiers at Katari repelled them. But I don’t know if people were abducted,” he said. 

When contacted yesterday, the Kaduna State Overseeing Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan said he could not confirm the development, but promised to revert to our reporter after a meeting he was attending. He did not revert at press time last night. 

The state Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, when contacted, said he will investigate and find out what happened. 

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