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    Military officer kidnapped by bandits freed 24 days after NDA attack

    Major Christopher Datong, who was kidnapped by daring bandits around 1 am on August 24, 2021, has reportedly regained his freedom after 24 days in his captors’ den.

    Datong was kidnapped when the marauders, invaded the country’s foremost military institution, the Nigerian Defence Academy, Afaka, Kaduna, killing two officers – identified as Lieutenant Wulah and Flight Lieutenant Okoronkwo.

    The bandits, who broke the fence of the institution, had headed in different parts of the premises and caught the officers on duty off guard.

    But it was gathered that the troops of the Nigerian Army, Air Force and other security agencies rescued Datong on Friday.

    The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col Ezindu Idimah, said in a statement issued in Kaduna that the officer was rescued in the late hours of September 17, 2021.

    According to the News Agency of Nigeria, several identified bandits’ camps in the Afaka- Birnin Gwari area were destroyed while scores of bandits were neutralised during the rescue mission.

    Idimah said upon arrival at a camp suspected to be the location where Datong was being held, the troops exchanged fire with the bandits and in the process, the abducted officer was rescued.

    However, he said the officer sustained a minor injury, but had been treated in a medical facility and handed over to NDA for further action.

    “Our operations will continue until we capture or neutralise the assailants that killed two officers in the NDA on 24 August 2021,” Idimah said.

    NDA Public Relations Officer, Maj. Bashir Jajira, also confirmed the rescue of the officer.

    The PUNCH had earlier reported that NDA Commandant, Major General Ibrahim Yusuf, on September 14, after being quizzed by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, said efforts were on top gear to rescue the abducted officer and ensure that such incident never occurred again.

    THE PUNCH

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