22 July 2012

Nigeria: Gunmen On the Rampage in Kogi, Yobe

Photo: Vanguard
Policemen defused home made bombs.

Lokoja — Five days after a bomb making factory was uncovered in Kogi State, gunmen, believed to be robbers, struck in the state, at the weekend, attacking a police station and looting a bank.

The gunmen attack, which took place in Iyara, Ijumu Local Government Area, claimed the life of a policeman.

Some gunmen also invaded a school in Yobe State and burnt it. An eye-witness told Sunday Vanguard that the suspected robbers, who invaded the Kogi town around 9.45p.m., on Friday, split into two and commenced their operation. They reportedly shot sporadically into the air.

It was gathered that a group of the gunmen attacked Iyara branch of Unity Bank and bombed the strongroom with improvised explosive devices (IED) and carted away some cash from the vault.

The gunmen were said to have killed a policeman on guard at the bank before blowing up the strongroom.

The other group was said to have headed straight for the Divisional Police Station in the town where they allegedly met strong resistance from the police anti-terrorist squad which foiled their plans to loot the armoury.

Residents of Iyara, who spoke to our correspondent, said the gunmen held the town hostage for the better part of the night as they kept detonating explosives indiscriminately amid sporadic shooting.

Kogi State police command's spokesman (PPRO), Mr Ile Simon (DSP), confirmed the attack on the bank and the police station but could not give casualty figure and the amount of money taken from the bank.

"We cannot say for now. All we got from there is that they attacked the bank and our station and there was exchange of fire", Simon said.

Last Sunday, the police had uncovered a bomb making factory in Okaito, in Okahi Local Government Area of the state.

The building housing the bomb factory is a four-bedroom apartment. It is the second to the last building in the area. The building has since been pulled down by the government in conjunction with security agents.

According to a resident who craved anonymity, "it was not long the criminal gangs rented the building to carry out their criminal activities."

He said the house was owned by an Ebira man, but was rented to an unknown person from Damaturu, Yobe State, adding that the residents never envisaged that such activity was happening in the house.

Gunmen burn Yobe school In the meantime, unknown gunmen, at the weekend, burnt a school in Yobe State. Sources in Damaturu gave the name of the school as Yobe Children's Academy. It is a privately-owned school with nursery, primary and secondary arms. Each of the arms has sets of blocks allocated to it.

The school is located along the Gashu'a-Potiskum Bypass in Damaturu. The proprietor of the school is Hajiya Mairo Amshi, a former Commissioner of Agriculture in the state.

It was learnt that only one hall was not totally destroyed in the school. Students of the school writing their West African Examinations Council Senior School Certificate Examination had to make use of the only spared hall. Damaturu has in recent times become the hotbed of the activities of the dreaded sect, Boko Haram.

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