Suspected terrorists have attacked a motorcade of intending pilgrims from Isa Local Government in Sokoto state allegedly leaving three police personnel dead in the process.
The Pilgrims were on their way to the state capital to be airlifted to the Holy Land for this year’s hajj before they were ambushed
Sources in the area said the assailants laid in wait for the vehicles conveying the intending pilgrims from Isa to Sultan Abubakar III International Airport to kidnap them but were repelled by the team of the security personnel accompanying the intending pilgrims.
Some of the sources confirmed the terrorists had allowed the first vehicle carrying the security personnel to go on ahead before opening fire on them.
The security personnel were said to have engaged the gunmen in a gun duel for several hours, thereby stopping them from abducting any of the intending pilgrims in which three of the officers reportedly lost their lives in the process.
It was also confirmed that two vehicles conveying the intending pilgrims made it to the airport, while the remaining vehicle returned the pilgrims to their local government.
Confirming the incident, the Sokoto state government said that the pilgrims from the Isa local government area of the state had been rescued and were unscathed.
The State government has yet to confirm the killing of the security personnel, and efforts to reach the state Police command to confirm the report proved unsuccessful as calls to the command public relations officer, DSP Abubakar Sanusi’s mobile line have not been returned.
According to the state Commissioner for Information, Isah Bajini Galadanchi, all of the intending pilgrims and their relatives who were accompanying them to Sokoto Hajj camp and the security men escorting them, were momentarily held up by suspected bandits operating on the corridor linking the eastern part of the state, arrived safely in Sokoto, the capital city.
Already the contingent has been received by Government officials and is being processed for their onward journey to the Holy Land,” explained Galadanci.