The Police in Imo state smashed a 30-man gang of armed robbers and kidnappers at the boarder community between Rivers and Imo states.
The Anti-kidnapping and Terrorism squad of the command also recovered five AK47 rifles and other weapons.
The gang was said to have been intercepted while on operation by the police who engaged them in fierce battle.
It was gathered that they abandoned some of their victims and ran into the bush of Apan and Umuapu and disappeared through the thick forest with the ladies who were robbed and kidnapped in the early hours of their operation.
One of the victims who gave her name as Ndidi Azonobi said that the gang after robbing over 18 buses with 324 passengers also kidnapped 48 young ladies and carried them to the forest and collected their phones, other valuable items. He said that some of the ladies were also raped.
The eye witness also said that some of those ladies who resisted them were heavily injured and rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri where they are receiving treatment.
Azonobi further stated that some passengers in the buses robbed were students from Imo state University Owerri and some traders in Owerri and Port Harcourt, in the Rivers state.
Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem, who confirmed the incident, said police have commenced investigation.