1 February 2013

Nigeria: Gunmen Kill Eight Policemen, Two Others in Kano, Kaduna, Gombe

Kaduna — No fewer than 10 persons, including eight policemen and two civilians were killed in three separate attacks by gunmen in Kaduna, Kano and Gombe States Thursday.

About 100 armed bandits attacked Birnin Gwari town in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing six people, including five policemen before burning down a police station and robbing two banks of huge sums of money.

In the neighbouring Kano State, two persons including a police sergent and a civillian were also killed when unknown gunmen razed down the Bunkure Police Station, about 41 kilometres south of Kano city, bringing the number of those killed in the two states to eight, six policemen and two civilians.

Security sources told Vanguard in Kano that the "vicious attack on police facilities" took place around 7.15pm, adding that a wing of the police complexy was destroyed by explosives. Two policemen at a check point within a popular round-about in Gombe metropolis were killed by unknown gunmen. A stray bullet from the assailant also wounded a crippled civilian passer-by.

However, the attack in Kaduna State came barely 24 hours after the Emir of Birnin Gwari, Alhaji Zubairu Jibrin led a delegation to Governor Mukhtar Yero over the level of insecurity in the emirate and asked for urgent government intervention. Birnin Gwari is about 150 kilometres from the Kaduna metropolis.

A source told Vanguard that the bandits earlier arrived the town in four buses, several cars and motor cycles, at about 10pm on Wednesday "and went to the drinking palours in the area to enjoy themselves,"adding that they, however, started their operations at about 1am in the morning. In October last year, an armed gang attacked Dogon Dawa, in Birnin Gwari Local Government, killing 24 residents.

However, the source further said that "we heard sounds of heavy gunfire. There were shootings and sounds of heavy explosions. It went on for about two hours. I was praying that they do not go from house to house. But the sounds were only around the police station and where the banks are located

"When it was dawn, we went out to the scene and that was when they were removing the corpse of the last policeman. They bombed the police station, killed five policemen and freed all the detained criminals before they started attacking the banks. They used explosives to open the ATM machines at the two banks.

"I do not know if they got into the vaults of the banks, because the Police did not allow us inside the banking halls. Only my manager was allowed into the bank. But they destroyed everything from furniture to the computers and the only operational van."

The Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, Zone One, Kano, David Omojola, who confirmed the attack on the Bunkure Police Station said "a wing of the station was affected by the explosives thrown at the station by the gunmen"

His words, "yes, Bunkure station was attacked yesterday by unknown gunmen; a wing of the station was destroyed but investigation has since commenced"

Also commenting on the attack, the Kano State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Magaji Majia said "a police sergent died during the attack while a civillian was burnt beyomd recognition".

In Kaduna State, the state Police Spokesman, DSP Aminu Lawan aslo said: "in the early hours of yesterday, some armed robbers attacked the Birnin Gwari Police Station and two banks. They killed three policemen. I was informed that the armed robbers were between 50 and 100 in number. When our men could not face them, they retreated. They burnt the police station. They also killed one other person after robbing the banks. We have not made any arrests, but we are investigating.",

Meanwhile, a visit to the affected Bunkure Police Station in Kano indicated that a private residence close to the police station was affected by the blast. Operatives of Joint Military Taskforce had since taken over the sleepy town as motorist passing through the town were subjected to scrutiny.

Meantime, the AIG in charge of Zone one, David Omojola, led a delegation of top Police officers to Bunkure for the spot assessment.

An eyewitness told Vanguard in Gombe State that the two gunmen who wore long gowns also masked their faces. He stated that the attackers emerged from a tricycle around 6:15 am and headed straight to the policemen at the checkpoint directly opposite Gombe Line Motor Park and shot them dead.

The Police PRO, DSP Fwaje Atajiri in a statement, described the attack as "unfortunate." Atajiri said the hoodlums attacked when two patrol vehicles of the Rapid Response Squad from Gombe Central Police Division that were always stationed there had been removed around 06:30 hours, adding that investigation had started to unravel the suspects.

The statement further read: "The criminals are residing with us and they are not spirits. The Command believes that when all hands are on deck, there will be improvement in the security situation in the state".

The state had witnessed an upsurge in killings which necessitated the limiting of operation of commercial motorcycles between 6am and 5pm.

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