Nine persons, including eight policemen and one civilian, were feared killed in Isanlu, Kogi State, when a gang of armed robbers launched an attack on a branch of First Bank in the town, yesterday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that among those killed were the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), in the town, five other Policemen and two Policewomen.
NAN sources indicated that while the DPO, the two Policewomen, and four Policemen were killed at the Police Station, one Policeman was killed at the bank’s premises. The other victim, a male civilian, died when a stray bullet hit him.
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The armed robbers were said to have invaded the Police Station at about 1 p.m. and opened fire on all officers and men on duty. The source told NAN that the Police Station was completely destroyed by the armed robbers who also set free all detainees in the detention facility. The robbers later proceeded to the area’s First Bank Plc branch where they killed one of the Policemen on duty and carted away money. An eyewitness, Mr. Segun Thomas, told NAN that the robbery operation lasted almost one hour.
“The robbers came in two vehicles – a bus and a car – with which they also escaped from the town. NAN learned that the car, believed to have been snatched from its owner, was later abandoned around Kizito College, Isanlu. Mr. William Aya, the spokesman of the Police Command in Kogi, confirmed the robbery incident and the invasion of the Police Station, but added that the casualty figure was “still hazy”. “The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ede Ayuba, has dispatched the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the operation, to Isanlu to ascertain the true situation,” he told NAN. Aya promised to brief the press “as soon as details are available”.
The attack came barely 48 hours after the joint task force under the Kogi state police command reportedly shot dead two notorious armed robbers and kidnap kingpins that have been terrorising the people in Idah Local government area of the state and its environs.
DSP William Ovye Aya, Police Public Relations Officer, Kogi state police command, had said the joint taskforce also succeeded in foiling their operation.
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He said that the notorious robbery gang engaged the men of the task force, but said they fled with various gun injuries while the bodies of the two members of the gang, Onucha Opia and Danlami Shuaibu were found by the men while combing the area.
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