As dare-devil kidnappers continue to target Catholic reverend fathers in Edo State with the kidnap of three priests within one week, and killing one of them, the State Police Command on Monday saved another abducted priest from his assailants.
Three suspected kidnappers were killed in the process of rescuing the 64-year-old Rev. Fr Luigi Brena, an Italian, who, according to the police, was abducted along Ogunwenyi, Usen Community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of the state.
Recall that on Sunday last week, 41-year-old Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia-Ogedegbe, parish priest of St. Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo, Etsako West local government area of the state, was abducted at his residence and was later killed.
In a statement by the deputy public relations officer of the Edo State Poluce Command, Jennifer Iwegbu, an assistant superintendent of police, ASP, the suspected kidnappers were killed in a shoot-out with security operatives during the rescue operation.
The Statement read: “Operatives of the Edo State Police Command attached to Iguobazuwa Division, on the 03/07/2022 at about 17:45hrs, received information that Rev. Fr Luigi Brena, ‘M’ 64yrs, an Italian of Somascan Father’s Community, was abducted by suspected kidnappers, along Ogunwenyi through Usen Community in Ovia South West Local Government area of Edo State.
“On reciept of the information, the police operatives immediately swung into action and trailed the suspected kidnappers to their camp in the forest.
“The suspects, on sighting the operatives, opened fire on them, but with superior fire power, the police operatives neutralized three of the kidnappers while the rest escaped with various gun shot injuries and abandoned their victim.
“The Reverend Father was immediately rushed to Igbinedion Teaching Hospital, Okada for medical attention. Meanwhile, intensive bush-combing is ongoing with the aim of arresting the suspected kidnappers now on the run”.
According to the statement, the state Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, appealed to Edo people to continue to partner with the Command by availing it with prompt and useful information that would lead to the arrest of criminals terrorising the state.