How German archaeologists regained freedom in Kaduna

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By Ifeanyi Okolie

Two German archaeologists, Professor Peter Breunig and his associate, Johannes Berhinger, who were abducted last week by gunmen at an excavation site in Jenjela area of Kagargo Local Government Area, Kaduna State, have been released.

Vanguard gathered that the Germans, who spent three days in captivity, were found Saturday night at the Katari axis on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, where they were spotted by a combined team of policemen drawn from the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT; the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Kaduna State Police Command; the Police Mobile Force and operatives of the Police Air Wing.

Nigerian Police

The kidnappers, who were armed with assault rifles and machetes, killed two Kaduna natives, who attempted to foil the kidnapping last Wednesday, when they stormed the excavation site, and abducted the Germans who were part of a team from the University of Frankfurt, Germany, working in Nigeria in collaboration with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments and other institutions on the relics of Nok culture.

Two other German women, who were members of the team, were spared by the gunmen.

A ransom of N60 million was demanded for the release of the Germans by the kidnappers, who were alleged to have threatened to kill the Germans if they involved police in their negotiations.

But Vanguard could not ascertain at press time if ransom was paid for their release. A police source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that the Germans were found unhurt by the police and they have been handed over to representatives of the German Embassy in Abuja.

The source added that the strategy adopted by the Inspector General paid off in pressuring the kidnappers into releasing their victims.

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