Sokoto — Three gunmen yesterday launched attack on the Zaria residence of Vice President Namadi Sambo located at Baba Ahmed Road in Tudun Wada, killing a shoe shiner and injuring two policemen on guard.
Witness said that the gunmen who are within the age range of 20 and 28, stormed the area at about 11:30am on a motorcycle and opened fire on the policemen on duty, but their bullets fell the shoe shiner who was said to be polishing their shoes just outside the gate.
Acting public relations officer of the Kaduna State command DSP Abubakar Balteh confirmed the incident, saying the policemen repelled the attack forcing the gunmen to flee.
"There were about three of our men on duty when the attackers came. They exchanged fire with our men and our men were able to repel the attack and force the gunmen out of the area. It is true that one cobbler was killed and one of our men was shot but he is now receiving treatment at the hospital. The cobbler was killed after being hit by a stray bullet," DSP Balteh said.
The house which was torched during the post presidential election violence in 2011 was under renovation and armed policemen were said to have been drafted to secure the place. Daily Trust learnt there are no occupants in the building but residents of the area said the deployment of security to watch over the renovation might not be unconnected with the attempt to scare any person or group that may want to disrupt the work.
A resident who witnessed the attacks on the security operatives at the house of the Vice President in Zaria yesterday said: "Three of them (attackers) came on an old motorcycle and on arrival, they opened fire on the police men around. The shooting that ensued led to the killing of a cobbler and one of the policemen was shot on the shoulder. The other policemen took cover in the house where they were heard firing back. I think they were taken unawares.
"The gunmen came when the policemen were waiting for the cobbler to mend their shoes. I think the police couldn't pursue because the guns which the attackers used sounded more sophisticated than the AK 47 the police had. The three attackers are all young men within the age bracket of between 20 and 28," the resident who craved for anonymity said.
Shortly after the attack, the corpse of the cobbler and the wounded cop were evacuated to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika, Zaria after which armed soldiers and mobile police cordoned off the area.
As at yesterday afternoon, calm had returned to the Tudun Wada area as armed security personnel allowed people to go about their normal businesses on the street.
Shortly before the attack on the house of the Vice President, at precisely 10:45am, two suicide bombers launched coordinated attacks on the zonal office of the Nigeria Police at Marna area of Sokoto, Sokoto State, and the office of the Police Officers' Wives Association, POWA, at Angwar Rogo respectively. Both bombers died in the attacks.
Witnesses said the suicide bomber who attacked the Sokoto zonal police headquarter arrived in a jeep at about 10.45am and went for his target. The explosion ripped through the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the zone Alhaji Mukhtari Ibrahim and his official car. The office of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and some nearby shops were also affected.
AIG Ibrahim confirmed that the bomber and a police corporal, Ismail, were killed and that eight other police officers sustained injuries.
"We had an unfortunate incident where a suicide bomber rammed into the headquarters with car and killed himself. A police corporal, by name Ismail was also killed and eight other officers were injured."
In the Angwar Rogo Attack, a bomber described by witnesses as a teenager was said to have arrived in a Voxwagon Gulf car and drove though as though he was a learner before launching the attack. He was the only casually in the attack.
The Deputy Police Commissioner, Kudu Nma, confirmed that the office of the POWA office was attacked and that the bomber died. No policeman was reported injured in this attack but Daily Trust learnt that several civilians around the area sustained various degrees of injury.
No group had claimed responsibility for the multiple attacks in Zaria and Kano as at press time yesterday.