File image. Tyrone Siu/Reuters
Lagos - Two South Africans kidnapped at a mining site in Kaduna State, North Central Nigeria, five days ago have been rescued by the police.

The commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Assistant Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, said the two South-Africans were rescued while some members of the kidnap gang were arrested. 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Kyari gave the names of the rescued persons as Messrs Thomas Arnold and Hendrick Gideon.

He said that the miners were kidnapped at a mining site in Maidaro Village on January 23 and taken to Birnin Gwari forest in Kaduna State.

According to the police commissioner, the victims were rescued on Saturday morning following an intense operation jointly mounted on the kidnappers by the IRT, Police Air Wing helicopter patrol and Kaduna State Police Command.

"The victims were moved from Kaduna to Abuja this morning and were handed over to the South African Embassy and their company representative for medicals and other immediate needs.

"The victims are in good health and have given useful information to the police that will help in further investigation.

"Some suspects were arrested and serious efforts are on to arrest other gang members," Kyari told NAN.

Two Americans and two Canadians kidnapped in a seperate incident on January 23 along Jere-Kagarko Road, also in Kaduna State, were rescued on the same day they were kidnapped.

Two policemen were killed by the gunmen during the kidnap of the Americans and Canadians while two of the suspected kidnappers were arrested.

The rescued foreigners were identfied as Nate Vangeest and Rachel Kelley (Canadians) as well as John Kirlin and Dean Slocum (U.S. citizens). They were handed over to the American Embassy in Abuja for medical attention and other immediate needs.

Foreign Service