The Kaduna State Government has said that only five people were kidnapped during Sunday’s attack on commuters along Abuja-Kaduna highway.
The Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, made the disclosure in a statement issued on Monday in Kaduna.
Aruwan said that the figure was disclosed to government officials by relations of the kidnapped victims.
He said that the government had forwarded the information to the relevant security agencies.
According to him, only two people were killed during the attack contrary to earlier media reports that claimed that scores were killed.
The commissioner recalled that nine people were rescued on Sunday by troops from the kidnappers.
“The government is appealing to the media to be conscious and circumspect, and aid security efforts towards containing banditry, rather than unwittingly giving more life to the criminal activities of the armed bandits.
“As at this moment, the Doka General Hospital, Military, Police and Federal Road Safety Corps have separately confirmed that two persons lost their lives, contrary to the reports being circulated which claimed that almost a score were killed.”
He also debunked claims that the military and other security operatives had abandoned the route.
“To uphold such a narrative would amount to a denial of the huge sacrifices being made by security personnel, with several paying the supreme price while patrolling the route.
“There is indeed presence of troops at strategic locations on the route, comprising Operation Thunder Strike (OPTS), a response squad of the Defence Headquarters with both ground and air components, having operational headquarters with a functional helipad at Kateri town.
“There is also a team from the Inspector General of Police Operation Puff Adder with two outfits, Special Tactical Squad and Intelligence Response Team, complementing operations with technical support.”
He said in spite of Sunday’s setback, the state government would continue to support and encourage security operatives on the frontlines as they worked to protect citizens and their right to live and travel in peace.