Four Feared Killed as Kidnappers, Soldiers Clash in Ondo

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James Sowole in Akure

No fewer than four suspected kidnappers were feared killed yesterday, when they clashed with soldiers along Owo-Ifon Highway in Ondo State.

Four of the soldiers, were also said to have sustained injuries in the clash.
The soldiers were said to be on patrol along the road when they reportedly rammed into the kidnappers who had barricaded the road, and were attempting to abduct some travellers.

It was gathered that the hoodlums had already kidnapped some victims when the soldiers got to the scene.
A source said, “On sighting the soldiers, the hoodlums opened fire on them and the soldiers responded and killed four of the hoodlums while four of the soldiers were also wounded.

“The gun duel lasted for almost an hour but the kidnappers left the victims and ran into the forest while the injured soldiers were taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the incident and said men of the command were already in the forest in search of the bandits.
“Our men have combed the forest while investigation has begun into the incident. About four soldiers were wounded in the attack,” Ikoro stated.

The spokesman for the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Captain Ayorinde Omojokun, when contacted on telephone, promised to call back but had not done so as at the time of filing this report.

In a related development, residents of Owobamigbe Farm Settlement, in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, have reportedly fled the community for fear of being attack by the Fulani herdsmen.

It was gathered that fight broke out between a cassava farmer and herdsmen in the community as it was alleged that the herdsmen used their cows to destroy large expanse of cassava farms located in the area.

A source said the fight broke out yesterday morning when the son of the farmer met some herders at the farm uprooting cassava to feed their cows and an attempt by him to stop them made the herdsmen to allegedly machete him, inflicting various degrees of injury on him. The source said it was the other famers that rescued the boy.

A resident of the community, Mr. Michael Abiodun, explained that the villagers had started leaving the area for fear of further attacks by the herdsmen.

Abiodun said, “We are not going to sleep in our hamlets for now because anytime we have issues with herdsmen, they would always come back at night to attack us.”
He urged the police and Amotekun corps in the state to come to their rescue and beef up security in the area to prevent bloodshed.