Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, the rescue operation occurred when the SF came across five abandoned vehicles with their doors open near Anguwar Yako, an indication of forced removal or evacuation and likely kidnap scene.
“Acting on instincts, the SF began exploiting the general scene of the abduction and extended for about 3 kilometres radius well into the bushes while clearing the general area.
“Upon sighting the SF, about three kidnapped escapees suddenly came out from the bushes. A further search by the SF led to the discovery of four different groups of victims hiding in the bushes.
“After a thorough search further into the hinterland, a total of 26 victims were rescued. On interrogation, the victims were travelling from Birnin Gwari to various locations including Kaduna, Minna and Kano.
“A large number of bandits in three groups suddenly appeared from the bushes from three different directions along the route and surrounded their vehicles.