Not less than 15 persons recently abducted by bandits in Tegina town of Niger State on Sunday escaped from their captors’ den in Zamfara State.
The 15 were among the adults abducted together with 156 pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamic School more than two weeks ago but were said to be separated from the children before been taken to a forest in Zamfara State.
It was reliably learnt that on Friday night, the 15 victims managed to open the door of the house in which they were locked in the forest after the bandits stationed to guard them were deeply asleep as a result of drunkenness.
It was also gathered that the escapees moved in different directions so that they will not arouse suspicion from other bandits in the forest.
Some of the victims managed to come out from a bush around Zaria and sought the help of some military personnel who helped them in calling their people in Niger State.
One of the escapees, who first arrived in Tegina, broke the news which made the Niger State Government to immediately swing into action to assist the remaining victims.
It was gathered that the escapee was admitted at a medical facility in the town for treatment.
It was also revealed that three others; a councillor, a driver and one other person escaped arrived in Tegina this Sunday morning.
Another of the escapee, it was gathered, was rescued and brought to Minna, where he was also admitted at a medical facility for treatment.
A family of some of the victims, who spoke with news men said security operatives had been sent to the Tegina-Birnin-Gwari road to await the arrival of the remaining escapees.
He said, “They are on their way coming from Zaria right now and the vice chairman of the local government and some security agencies are awaiting their arrival. We pray they arrive safe soon.”
15 invading bandits, soldier killed in Niger gun battle
Meanwhile, no fewer than 15 bandits were allegedly killed in a gun battle between the military and bandits in Anguwan Mallam, Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger State.
A military officer was also said to have lost his life in the fight on the side of the Army.
The incident was said to have occurred on Saturday evening at about 4pm when the military men on patrol of the area sighted the bandits in Anguwan Mallam some few kilometers from Kontagora town.
“The presence of the military was what saved out community from the bandits. They came in their numbers on motorcycles and the people became scared because we don’t have what it takes to face them.
“But many were killed; we discovered dead bodies even today in the morning in the bush. We found their sleeping kits and some other valuable materials belonging to them,” a source disclosed.
Efforts to get reaction from the Public Relations Officer of the state Police command, Wasiu Abiodun, were not successful as several calls put across to him were not unanswered as of the time of filing this report.