The Nigerian Army has revealed how the troops of 17 brigade and police officers prevented bandits from abducting several worshippers in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina on Monday.
In a statement on Tuesday by its spokesman, Mohammed Yerima, the army said several Muslim faithful were in the mosque to observe the late night Ramadan prayers.
Yerima said a large number of bandits came firing sporadically in an attempt to disrupt the prayers and abduct worshippers from Magama Central Mosque.
He said they were forced to withdraw as a result of overwhelming firepower from a combined team of army troops and police personnel who were deployed in the town following intelligence received on the planned attack.
Yerima said while the troops maintained vigilance to forestall a further attack on the mosque, the fleeing criminals decided to raid a local mosque at the outskirts of Jibia town where they kidnapped some people.
He said on getting the information, the joint team went after the bandits, forcing them to abandon most of the hostages while fleeing with an unknown number.
“The rescued victims have since been reunited with their families while further efforts are ongoing to rescue the others in collaboration with neighbouring military establishments, including those of Niger Republic,” he said.
“Late night prayers are very common among the Muslim faithful, particularly in the last days of the Holy Ramadan season.
“The situation in Jibia is under control as reinforcements have since arrived in the area in order to facilitate the rescue efforts.
“The local inhabitants are advised to go ahead with their normal business and report any suspicious activity to the security agency nearest to them.”