The police in Edo State on Monday engaged kidnappers in a gun battle, killing three of them and rescuing seven victims, an official has said.

Kontongs Bello, the Edo police spokesperson, said this in a statement on Monday.

He said the police worked with a local vigilante team to achieve the feat.

He said the security team encountered the suspected kidnappers at the Ahor axis of the Benin-Lagos bypass and engaged them in a fierce gun battle, where three of the suspected kidnappers were killed.

He did not say if the police sustained any casualty in the battle.

Mr Bello said that with the seven rescued victims, and the 13 rescued last Saturday, the total number of victims rescued between Saturday and Monday were now 20.

The latest incident occurs about two weeks after the Edo police engaged a separate set of kidnappers in a shootout during which two kidnap victims were rescued. The police also recovered about N200,000 from the kidnappers during the April 28 incident, an official said.

Edo is one of the Nigerian states where kidnapping for ransom is rampant. Other states include Enugu, Kaduna, Katsina and Akwa Ibom.

On Monday, Mr Bello disclosed that the latest success is a continuation of the forest and bush combing promised by Phillip Ogbadu, the commissioner of police in Edo.

Mr Bello reiterated that the police commissioner had promised to sustain the tempo and would not relent until the state was rid of kidnappers.

He said Mr Ogbadu also sought the collaboration and partnership of stakeholders through information sharing, particularly from those around Ahor community and environs.

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