Kano — Armed robbers yesterday afternoon attacked the Wapa bureau de change area in Kano, killing one person and seizing millions of naira.
The robbers, about 15 of them, invaded a building housing cluster of shops along Shettima Avenue in the area and robbed operators of large sums of money in local and hard currencies, market officials said.
Bureau de change operators were held up for about 30 minutes inside the compound, as the armed bandits operated.
Chairman of the market union, Alhaji Auwal Umar Magaji, told Daily Trust that some of the gang members drove to the area in vehicles, while others came on motorcycles.
He said the attackers shot dead one Muktari, because he had recognized some of them, adding that they also injured one Murtala and an unnamed boy.
Magaji also showed Daily Trust three loaded magazines of AK-47 rifle, abandoned by the robbers.
It was gathered that the attack came as traders were busy settling for the day. The sound of gunshots forced people to lock up their shops and ran away, witnesses said.
"The robbers came around 12.30pm and operated for about 30 minutes," said Magaji.
"Some of them were stationed outside, as the others made their way into the Alhaji Hussaini house where they killed his brother," he said.
"Initially, people suspected their motives and denied them access to the building. It was the person they killed that recognized them as regular visitors and allowed them inside. Once inside, they killed him and locked the gates from inside.
"The two policemen that were stationed here took to their heels and we contacted various security outfits located far and near the market, but they did not come until the robbers were gone," he added.
He said officials were yet to ascertain the amount of money that was stolen, adding "they run into millions of naira."
Confirming the attack, spokesperson for the Kano State Police Command ASP Mustafa Abubakar said investigation had been launched into the attack.
Abubakar also said the command had stationed 15 mobile policemen but it withdrew them due to persistent complaints from the traders, who accused the policemen of actions that were driving away customers.
He said he was not aware that some of their men had ran away during yesterday's attack.
WAPA Bureau de Change had in the past come under attacks from armed robbers.