It was a bloody night in Kogi State yesterday as unknown gunmen stormed the Deeper Life Bible Church, Otite, near Okene, in the central axis of the state, killing 16 worshippers.
LEADERSHIP reliably gathered that members of the church were attending its weekly Monday Bible study service when the hoodlums stormed the place.
The gunmen, numbering about 10, who were said to have invaded the church in a Toyota Hiace bus, started firing sporadically.
Motorists plying the highway connecting the northern and southern part of the country as well as students of the Federal College of Education, Okene, which is a stone throw from the venue of the incident, had to take cover to avoid running into the gunmen.
The worshippers could not escape immediately as the gunmen blocked the entrance of the church.
Some worshipers were able to escape during the attack which lasted about 20 minutes, even as nine others who received serious injuries were rushed to a nearby hospital.
The commissioner of police, Kogi State command, Mr. Muhammadu Katsina, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with our correspondent.
He said the gunmen entered the Deeper Life Church and switched off the generating set in the church before opening fire on the worshippers.
The police boss, who spoke while on his way to Otite, also confirmed the number of casualties, even as he promised to give details of the incident later, after visiting the place.
Police outpost razed in Shagari town
Unknown gunmen yesterday launched another bomb attack on hometown of the former President Shehu Shagari, destroying a police outpost in Shagari local government area of Sokoto State.
A source close to LEADERSHIP claimed that the attackers came on motorbikes and shot at the police outpost while firing at police officers on duty. The source added that the attackers tossed dynamites at the police post and raced down the station.
Shagari LGA is about 50km from the capital of Sokoto where the sect attacked two police formations last week.
Though details of the attack were sketchy at press time, police sources said there was no casualty, adding that investigation into the incident was ongoing.
Robbers storm Kano Kwari Market
In a related development, six armed gunmen yesterday stormed the famous Kantin Kwari Market in Kano metropolis and carted away undisclosed huge sums of money from Samfa Investment Limited.
According to an eyewitness, the gunmen attacked the market from Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Way where the company was located and began to shoot sporadically in the air to scare people away.
"They came to the market on three different motorcycles and attacked the company. They fired gunshots before they succeeded in collecting large sums of money," our source disclosed.
Shortly after the attack, the suspected robbers abandoned the motorcycles and snatched a Honda Civic car from a customer who brought women to purchase textiles in the market before they fled the area, our source disclosed.
It was gathered that traders and customers were busy transacting businesses when they heard sounds of gunshots, making them run helter-skelter to avoid the gun attack.
In the ensuing confusion, the robbers were said to have carted away the money and fled the area.
Police public relations officer Rilwanu Mohammad Dutse confirmed the attack and said there was no loss of life.
He said the police were able to engage the robbers in a shootout but the robbers succeeded in fleeing the area.
Dutse also said that investigation had commenced on the matter to ascertain the extent of loss incurred during the attack.