Nigerian News

Abducted Kaduna students are being held in locations we’re unable to access – DHQ

The Defence Headquarters has revealed the major challenge hindering the successful rescue of the 287 students who were abducted last week in a school in Kuriga, Kaduna State.

Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, explained that the victims are being held in locations which are difficult to get to but the troops are doing their best to rescue them.

Buba, who spoke to newsmen on Thursday, said the kidnappers are using the school children as human shields to prevent further air and land offensive against them.

He also said that it took more than six hours after the students were abducted for the information to get to security agencies.

Buba said; “We have depleted their ranks, neutralized many of their commanders and foot soldiers. The terrorists exhibited gross cowardice by going after children. We have taken their Commanders out. We recently acquired new air platforms to further decimate them. They know we mean business. It is to protect themselves that they went after the students. But we will not rest until all the kidnapped victims are rescued.

“As in every war, there are complexities and ours is no exception. Recently, cases of citizens being abducted in the North East, North West and North Central theatres of operations were recorded.

“These citizens were abducted by a brutal and blood tasty group that should only be addressed as tettorists not bandits. I repeat, these are terrorist and not bandits. They are holding these citizens against their will and against all norms of human behaviour, and against the laws of armed conflict and any good measure in the world.

“Several of their leaders and commanders have been neutralised as a result of troops onslaught. They want to use these hostages as human shield for their survival. Nevertheless, be assured that we will not rest until the hostages are returned.

“No doubt, this is a difficult situation, but not one that is insurmountable. The hostage situation is an extremely sensitive one which unfortunately is not unprecedented in the history of the ongoing war.

“These hostages are being held in locations that are difficult to get to, but not out of reached. The situation is however indicative of the desperation of these terrorists to avoid troops onslaught by all means.

“Recall that in recent times troops have decimated several of the terrorists leaders, commanders and foot soldiers and fast closing in one several others. These terrorists have exhibited cowardice by going for such soft targets to impede troops advances. I assure you that we will not rest until they are returned.

“Given the hostage situation, it can be deduced that the search and rescue effort was grossly affected by the none timely notification of troops of the incident. Nevertheless, I can assure you that we will not rest until these hostages are returned.

“However, because of the sensitivity of the matter, I can not go into further details as to signs of life, location, and the different options that we have in order to get these hostages back.

“Let me further assure that, getting these hostages back is very clearly on the top of our priorities. It is for this reason we have leveraged on our international partners for support.

“Accordingly, they are providing the necessary support including intelligence that is giving us the advantage in dealing with the ugly situation.”