Special Adviser on Security to Benue State Governor Lt. Col. Paul Hemba (Retd) on Monday said 17 bandits have been taken into custody over the kidnap of 23 persons in Taraba State.
The Nation gathered that on January 27, 2021, some criminal elements linked to the late Terwase Akwaza, popular called Gana kidnapped 23 persons along Wukari-Takum Road.
Addressing journalists at Government House Makurdi, Col. Hemba said the plan behind the kidnap was to trigger inter-communal crisis between the Tiv and Jukum tribes to divert the attention of security forces on them.
He said a combined team of troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, 72 Special Forces Battalion, 93 Battalion Takum and Mobile Police from Takum raided suspected hideouts where the victims were kept at Ajon, Igbudu and Tor Donga axis.
The team rescued 19 out of the 23 abducted victims, and is in search of the remaining four.
The troops arrested 17 bandits in connection with the kidnap during the raid in different parts of Katsina Ala Local Government Area.
The security adviser stated the suspects were being profiled by the DSS at 93 Battalion in Takum Local Government Area.