Daily Trust (Abuja)

28 November 2012

Nigeria: Auchi Attack Was Carried Out By Terrorists - Legislator

Benin — A member of Edo State House of Assembly Rasaq Momoh yesterday said the attack on banks, police command and soldiers in Auchi last Monday night displayed signs of a terrorist attack.

Momoh representing Etsako West 2 in the assembly said the robbers were looking for fund to finance their terrorist activities.

The lawmaker, who visited patients at hospitals, offered to offset the medical bills of some of the victims of the attack.

"They are out to raise fund for their organisation. The attacks started simultaneously at different places. It was centrally coordinated. "I don't want to believe that it was an armed robbery attack. This is a terrorist attack."

Casualties of the attack included three soldiers and 12 civilians.

Details of how the soldiers were killed were sketchy as at press time but one of the soldiers was said to have been killed at a filling station.

Some reports said the soldiers were killed during a shoot-out with the bandits while another report said two of the soldiers were killed when the bandits led an attack on the Igbirra Camp along Igarra road.

The corpses of the soldiers were deposited at the Central Hospital Mortuary in Auchi. Chief Medical Director of the Central Hospital, Dr. Jude Omoregie, said the three soldiers were brought dead.

He said the attacks made it impossible for victims to be given urgent medical attention. The MD said one person died in the wee hours of yesterday. He said they were yet to identify the dead person.

He said an okada rider and his passenger were shot. Dr. Jude said the okada rider died on the spot while the passenger, a yam seller survived.

He said many caught in the cross fire were people who were hit by stray bullet.

Meanwhile, residents of Auchi especially around three major cities woke up yesterday morning seeing dead bodies littering the streets following a coordinated attack on the community by some unidentified gun men, Monday night.

Some gunmen had on Monday night attacked the premises of four banks, the First bank, Access bank, GTB and Eko Bank as well as the Edo North Area command of the Nigeria Police, carting away millions of Naira in the process.

Soldiers had blocked all entry and exit routes which resulted in heavy gridlock along the Benin-Okenne-Abuja road as travellers at bothers of Okpella near Okenne coming from Abuja and others near Avielle coming from Benin City stranded for hours.

The state deputy governor, Pius Odubu accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Majority Leader of the state house of assembly, Philip Shaibu including the Acting Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Hurdi, representative of the Brigade Commander, 4 Mechanised Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Director State Security Services (SSS) Tukur Bakori yesterday afternoon visited the affected areas.

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