…police regrets the killing of seven cops, launches manhunt of killer gunmen
By Davies Iheamnachor, PORT HARCOURT
Facts have emerged on how the unidentified gunmen prevailed over the curfew imposed on Rivers State and killed about seven men and officers of the Nigeria Police in the state.
The unidentified gunmen had at about 10 pm, Friday, invaded the state under heavy gunfire and killed over seven policemen at different points in two local government areas of the state.
The hoodlums that invaded the state attacked two police stations, Rumuji Police Divisional Headquarters in Emohua Local Government Area and Elimgbu Police Station in Obio/Akpor LGA.
The bandits also attacked two security checking points, C4i security formation on the East-West road and another at Ogbakiri Junction in the same Emohua LGA.
It was gathered that the gunmen that ran amok, burnt down patrol vehicles and carted away over eight rifles belonging to the police.
A police source said the bandits came on a mobile police uniform and patrol vehicles for the operation.
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The source, who did not want his name in print, said two men, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, and Inspector were killed at the C4i checking point in Emohua.
The source said two AK47 rifles were snatched from the point while a patrol van was set ablaze.
At Rumuji Police Divisional Headquarters, the gunmen killed an ASP and an Inspector and beheaded the victims, a Special Constabulary sustained bullets wound.
At the station, the bandits snatched two ak47 rifles and set ablaze a patrol van before they were repelled by some soldiers and abandoning their Hilux.
The source further disclosed that at Elimgbu Police State, Obio/Akpor LGA, the invaders killed two ASP and an Inspector of Police, while a police Sergeant sustained bullet wounds.
It also disclosed that the hoodlums stole four rifles from the station.
However, the Rivers State Police Command, which regretted the development has launched a manhunt of the invaders.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, SP. Nnamdi Omoni, in a statement yesterday, after the Commissioner of Police in the state, Friday Eboka and heads of tactical units visited the different scenes of crime, noted that the bandits were met with stiff resistance.
Omoni said: “The Rivers State Police Command can confirm the unprovoked and mindless attack on policemen and vehicles.
“The incident which led to the death of seven Policemen occurred last night at about 2030hrs, where unknown gunmen driven in two branded Hilux vans, attacked the special checkpoint at Choba bridge, wherein a surprising attack, killed two Policemen on duty and set ablaze a private car belonging to one of the Policemen.
“A similar attack was launched at Rumuji Police Station by the same hoodlums who killed two Policemen on duty and burnt a Police patrol vehicle.
“However, a stiff resistance by the Police prevented the hoodlums from gaining access into the Police station. In the course of the exchange of fire, two of the attackers were fatally wounded and died on the spot.
“The third attack at Elimgbu Police Station was equally resisted by the Police, though three officers were killed in that attack the serious fire engagement made them abandon their bullet-riddled Hilux van, while they escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds with a snatched Sienna bus.”
The Police spokesman noted that the engagement of the police to trap down the killers caused them (hoodlums) to flee abandoning their vehicles.
“The continued engagement by the Police, also forced them to abandon the Sienna car they were using to escape at the Refinery junction, while their remnants again escaped with bullet wounds.
“In the meantime, the corpses of the fallen heroes have been evacuated and deposited in the mortuary, while the Commissioner of Police, CP. Eboka Friday, who led members of his management team and tactical Commanders to the respective scenes this morning for an on-the-spot assessment, has launched a serious manhunt for the preparators with a view to apprehending the culprits and bringing them to justice,” he said.
Omoni confirmed that the Command was relatively calm and the Commissioner of Police currently in a security meeting with his team, as security has been further strengthened in all the Police formations in the State, including other critical public and private infrastructure.
He noted that in the three attacks carried out no Police Station nor formation was burnt but regretted that five assault rifles were lost in the incident.
Omoni urged the public to increase security consciousness and report every person or persons with gun wounds to the nearest Police Station.