Kidnappers of Osun College workers demand ransom

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…As Suicide bomber kills two in southeast Iran***

Suspected kidnappers of six staffers of the Osun College of Technology (OSCOTECH), Esa-Oke, Osun, kidnapped on Tuesday have contacted the families of the remaining four victims.

The kidnappers were said to be demanding for ransom before the victims could regain their freedom.

The police on Wednesday said four of the victims were now free.

A family member of one of the victims, who asked not to be named, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on social media that she was already in touch with the kidnappers.

“I am now on (sic) negotiation with the kidnappers, but they are insisting on N2 million.

She said the kidnappers alleged that they had moved their victims to Benin.

“Our God is everywhere and He will settle the ransom for us in Jesus name.

“We really appreciate everyone for being there, sirs and mas. Let’s not relent yet.”

The Police Public Relations Officer of the Osun Police Command, Folashade Odoro, had earlier confirmed to NAN in Osogbo that four of the six kidnapped staff members of OSCOTECH, had regained their freedom on Wednesday.

Ms Odoro, however, declined to give further details relating to their freedom but said police operatives were still working toward the release of the remaining four.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the gunmen on Tuesday kidnapped eight workers and students of the college and also killed one of them that tried to escape. The two students kidnapped escaped from their abductors and are now safe.

The Students Union President of the institution told PREMIUM TIMES the two students said their kidnappers were Fulani herdsmen, a claim the police are yet to confirm.

The institution’s Public Relations Officer, Adewale Oyekanmi, said on Wednesday that the staff members were attacked and kidnapped around 4:30 p.m. after the close of work on Tuesday.

Mr Oyekanmi said the gunmen blocked the Esa-Oke Road leading to the college campus, stopped the vehicles of the staff and abducted them.

“One of the staff was shot and killed inside his car when he was trying to escape from the gunmen.

“The police, DSS and men of the OPC are helping in combing the bushes to see if they can rescue the kidnapped staff,” he told NAN.

In the meantime, a suicide bomber killed at least two people and wounded many more outside police headquarters in the port city of Chabahar in restive southeastern Iran on Thursday, according to a revised official toll.

Chabahar lies in Sistan-Baluchistan province which has long been a flashpoint, with Pakistan-based Baluchi separatists and Sunni Muslim extremists carrying out cross-border attacks targeting the Shiite authorities.

“This terrorist act led to the martyrdom of two members of the police force,” the province’s deputy governor in charge of security, Mohammad Hadi Marashi, told state television.

Chabahar city governor Rahmdel Bameri said earlier that four people were killed and many more wounded when the bomber blew up a car, but later revised the death toll to two.

“The explosion was very strong and broke the glass of many buildings close by,” Bameri told state television.

Many nearby shop owners and civilian passers-by, including women and children, were severely wounded, he added.

Chabahar lies some 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of the Pakistan border and is home to a large, mainly Sunni Muslim ethnic Baluchi community which straddles the two countries.

The number of assailants was not immediately clear.

“The terrorists tried to enter Chabahar police headquarters but they were prevented by the guards and they detonated the car bomb,” Marashi said without elaborating on how many assailants took part.

Chabahar has a deep-water port on the Gulf of Oman and with Indian assistance Iran has been developing it as a major energy and freight hub between Central Asia and India, bypassing Pakistan.

Additional report from AFP