An elite team of special forces soldiers has rescued seven Chinese nationals abducted six months ago from a mining site in the North-central state of Niger, according to a statement from the country’s Air Force spokesperson.
The search and recovery operation was conducted in the early hours of Saturday, Dec. 17 by members of the Air Force’s Special Operations Forces, assigned to an outpost in the volatile Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna State in the northwest.
“The rescued Chinese victims are believed to have been kidnapped in June 2022 by terrorists while working on a mining site in Ajata-Aboki, Gurmana Ward of Shiroro Local Government, Niger State,” said the statement from Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet.
The team of 35 Special Forces was said to have used the cover of night to move at their target around Kanfani Doka and Gwaska. The operation reportedly led the terror group behind the abduction to abandon them.
The Air Force says “the seven Chinese victims were flown to the 271 NAF Detachment Medical Centre for evaluation where two of the victims were stabilized. Subsequently, the seven victims were flown to the NAF Base Medical Hospital, Kaduna for further medical investigations.”
The north-central and northwestern regions of Nigeria have been struggling with widespread violence and kidnapping for ransom. The violence is perpetrated by terror groups notorious for moving around the forest areas on motorcycles.
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