Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Soldiers Shoot Suspected Bag Snatchers in Abuja

Two unidentified men who allegedly snatched a hand bag containing half a million naira from a woman have been arrested in Abuja by soldiers on patrol and handed over to the police.

One of the suspects was shot by the soldiers before the arrest on Monday. The victim, who identified herself as Esther Audu, told onlookers at the Wuye junction in Abuja that she withdrew N500, 000 from a bank in Area 3, Garki, but didn't know she was being trailed.

Amidst wailing, Ms Audu, who is a sand supplier to construction sites, told Daily Trust that: "I carried sand yesterday like three times. I now went to withdraw the payment today (yesterday). I entered motor from area 3 and I now stopped at this site (Wuye junction). That was when he (thief) removed an object to stab me. I now held on to my bag and fell down. He took my bag and started running."

Her shout for help drew the attention of people who chased the thief and his accomplice but couldn't arrest them. The suspects ran into a bush close to the Wonderland Amusement Park.

However, an army unit on duty near the Abuja National Stadium responded to the distress call and chased the suspected thieves into the bush. The soldiers arrested the suspects after shooting one of them on the shoulder and leg.

Daily Trust reporter was at the scene when the soldiers brought out the suspects with gunshot wounds.

He was then taken away in the Police Anti Crime Control Squad (ACCOS) 05 van.

However, an eye witness who did not give his name identified the arrested suspect as Clement. He said he had been a notorious thief for many years. He said he knew him from Kaduna as a pick pocket at the Kawo bus stop.

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