Six policemen were yesterday killed in three separate incidences in Kaduna, Kano and Gombe states.
In Kaduna State, armed robbers, numbering over 50 attacked Birnin Gwari town killing three policemen, a villager even as they used rocket launchers and grenades to destroy a divisional police station and two commercial banks in the area.
The robbers carried out the attack hours after Emir of Birnin Gwari Alhaji Zubair Jibril complained to Kaduna Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero that armed bandits had taken over his domain.
The robbers, who started operation at the middle of the town around 12 midnight detonated over 20 grenades and rocket launchers before leaving.
It was gathered that the bandits used the explosives to gain entry into the branches of First Bank and Ecobank and to destroy the police station.
Locals told Daily Trust that the bandits who spent over four hours carrying out the operation went to the town around 11.pm in three buses and many motorcycles.
"We did not know where they first attacked but we started hearing sound of guns and bombs around 12 midnight and it lasted for over four hours. They killed policemen, released all suspects in detention and we learnt that they went away with guns," a trader in the town said.
Speaking when Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero visited Emir of Birnin Gwari yesterday over the attack, the Emir said the armed robbers drank tea at a tea joint and refilled their cars at a filling station before starting their operation.
"We could not sleep throughout the night because of the attack. It was as if we were in war front, they detonated over 20 bombs. We quickly performed ablution and started praying throughout the operation. They operated like trained soldiers in war front. They were sophisticated armed robbers.
"Please we are begging in the name of Allah, help us to tell the Federal Government to establish police area command and military formation here because it takes hours to draft security men from Kaduna to this place. These armed robbers can decide to block the road one day in order to attack us ", he said.
Governor Yero said he would partner with other state governors to address the situation and urged people of the community to always give security agencies in the area information about the bandits.
Kaduna police commissioner Olufemi Adenaike confirmed the number of casualties, saying his men engaged the bandits but that they overpowered them when they detonated grenades and rocket launchers.
And in Kano State, a police sergeant and a civilian were shot dead when unknown gunmen stormed Bunkure divisional police station shooting and throwing explosives at the police station.
A source said the attackers came in a car around 7:15pm and opened fire at the station and at the same time throwing explosives.
"I just had my Magrib prayers when I started hearing gunshots; at the beginning I thought it was from the police but when the sound of explosion began to rock the whole area, we then understood it was the police station that was attacked. We all ran out and most of us slept at a neighbouring village for fear, we later learnt that the station was also burnt down," he said.
Another source said the gunmen were after a particular police sergeant who was recently transferred from Maiduguri to Kano. He said the attackers were at Rano, a few kilometres from Bunkure, asking for a particular police sergeant who was transferred from Maiduguri to Kano.
When they were told that the sergeant in question was in Bunkure they left for Bunkure, saying when they arrived at Bunkure they asked of the same sergeant and they were told he was at the station and on arriving at the place they opened fire at the station and killed the sergeant.
Kano Police Public Relation Office ASP Magaji Musa Majiya confirmed the incident.
Similarly, unknown gunmen riding a tri-cycle in Gombe yesterday shot and killed two policemen officers on duty and injured one civilian.
A witness the men aligned from the tri-cycle, popularly known as Keke Napep, opened fire on the two policemen and killed them instantly, saying in the process a physically challenged person walking with crutches sustained injury from a stray bullet and taken to Gombe Specialist Hospital.
"The incident occurred around 6:15am. After killing the police officers, the gunmen left the scene on foot and were shooting sporadically into the air," he said.
Gombe Police Public Relations Officer DSP Fwaje Atajiri confirmed the killing.