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Kidnappers Take Over Delta State, Abducts Scores

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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Heavily armed gunmen have stormed Uvwiamuge axis of the Ughelli/Agbarho section of the East-West road in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, and whisked scores of persons.

The incident which occurred about 6:40pm on Monday lasted for over 30 minutes. The incident led to panic among commuters plying the now dreaded highway.

Eyewitnesses said the hoodlums fled when they were engaged in a gun duel with police operatives who were drafted to the spot.

Several accounts had it that no fewer than eight persons were kidnapped by the armed men who laid siege on the road from the nearby bush along the expressway.

However, some other commuters claimed that only four persons were abducted by the hoodlums who left with their victims through the bush path.

It was observed that several vehicles were abandoned by motorists on the highway. Some motorists heading towards Ughelli and Effurun had to make sudden u-turn to avoid being victims.

Our correspondent reports that over 30 policemen were sighted at the scene of the incident.

A Personal Assistant to the Bishop of Flock Christ Mission, Bishop Simeon Okah and other persons were kidnapped on the same spot less than a month ago.

The victims were, however, released after unspecified amount was paid as ransom.

Meanwhile, the Delta State Police Commissioner, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, has confirmed the incident. Adeleke, while speaking with our correspondent, said only one person was abducted by the gunmen.

He said his men were proactive and such saved the situation. He said the incident was already being investigated.