By Oladipupo Mojeed
The Lagos State Police Command in conjunction with the army, navy and airforce personnel, have launched an all-out war on armed militants in the creeks, killing no fewer than 14 of them.
This action was in response to the kidnap of six students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, on Thursday by some gunmen.
The Nation reports that the militants were killed during a gun battle with special forces deployed to comb the creeks and rescue the six kidnapped students.
Yusuf Farouk, Ramon Isiaka, Pelumi Philips, Peter Jonas, Adebanjo George and Judah Agbaosi were abducted from their hostels around 6 am by gunmen in police uniform.
Their abduction followed a three-day unsuccessful attempts by the hoodlums who were stopped by policemen deployed to the school premises.
The gunmen eventually gained access into the school through a hole they made in the rear fence and whisked away their victims.
A source said the abduction of the pupils angered security chiefs in the state, who immediately deployed gunboats and tactical combat forces against the criminals.
The gun battle, which started in the early hours of Thursday, was still on at about 4 pm on Friday, with friendly forces advancing deeper into the forest for the possible location of the pupils.
A resident who hinted on the development said that he saw marine policemen, army and navy personnel moving into the area the militants had been displaying might.
According to him , he heard sporadic gunshots from the lake and friendly forces were advancing deeper into the creeks.
14 militants allegedly killed
Meanwhile, one of the parents whose child was abducted disclosed that he got information that 14 of the militants had been killed in the operation, adding that several others were injured.
She also said that two soldiers were allegedly hit by the militants’ bullets, but she would not know if they are dead.
The woman, who said the kidnappers were yet to contact any of the parents, appealed to them to release the pupils unhurt.
Her appeal came just as one of the pupils released by the gunmen on Thursday morning, Jibrin (surname withheld) said they were profiled and he was released because the boat could not contain all of them.
“They entered our hostel, took 10 of us and moved down to the waterside. When they got there, they realised that the speedboat could not contain all of us, so they started asking us questions.
“They asked me what my parents do for a living, and I told them that my parents were late. They asked me to stay aside.
“The others who also told them their parents were farmers, mechanics or petty traders were sent to that side. Then they told us to push their boat and we left.
“I saw garri, gunpowder and bullet inside the boat,” he said.