Four passengers abducted by gunmen at Imesi-Ile and Esa-odo in the Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State were on Tuesday rescued by a combined team of security men.
A member of the rescue team however lost his life, while one of those rescued sustained gunshot injury in the shootout between the abductors and security men.
Recall that an unspecified number of passengers travelling in a commercial vehicle were abducted near Osun Bridge in Imesi Ile on Monday.
Also at another location in Esa Odo town on Monday, some passengers were abducted by gunmen.
It was learnt that a combined team, compromising policemen, members of Hunters Group of Nigeria, men of Kiriji Heritage Defenders and Oodua Peoples Congress, narrowed the search for the victims to a forest in Ere Ijesa and tracked them a point before Osun Bridge.
A source close to the scene said the search paid off when the man negotiating for ransom on behalf of the kidnappers was sighted by the search team, who chased him to the spot where the victims were kept.
The source further said, “Interestingly, the abductors, six of them bearing AK-47 and pump action rifles and a man that was negotiating for ransom on their behalf, kept the victims not far away from a police checkpoint.
“The negotiator was tracked down and he ran towards where the victims were kept.
“The other members of the kidnap gang then opened fire on the team and a member of OPC that was part of the rescue team was shot dead. One of those abducted also sustained injury, while three of the abductors were also seriously injured.
“All the victims are male and they have been taken to the Ibokun Police Area Command.”
The Osun State Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, said four of the victims were rescued.
“Unfortunately, one person, a member of OPC that was part of the rescue team was shot dead. One other person was also injured. Our men are still after the kidnappers,” Olokode said.
So:- Punch Ng