Monday, 14 December 2015

FOUR persons, including a policeman, were injured
on Monday when daredevil armed robbers engaged
security operatives in a fierce gun battle in Port
Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The hoodlums, who were said to be planning to rob
one of the new generation banks on the ever busy
Ikwerre road, were stopped by a group of police who
apparently got wind of their (armed robbers)
presence within the area.
It was learnt that the robbers, who were armed with
AK-47 rifles came in three vehicles at about 12.30pm
and shot sporadically in order to repel the advancing
policemen to no avail.
An eyewitness said the superior fire power of the
policemen had forced the policemen to make a U-
turn and escaped through another road.
A trader on Ikwerre road told our correspondent that
the armed robbers came in one Sienna bus, a Luxus
Sport Utility Vehicle and another unidentified vehicle.
Motorists and passersby were said to have
disappeared from the usually crowded Emenike
Junction as the deafening sound of gunshots caused
them to scamper for safety.
One of those who was hit by a stray bullet on the
thigh was an occupant of a commercial bus. The
bullet, according to sources came from the side of
the bandits.
"All the drivers, passengers and those selling along
the road ran away when they heard the non-stop
sound of gunshots. We were all afraid because we
initially thought that we will not escape from the
flying bullets.
"We thank God that no innocent person died during
the shootout. I heard that one policeman and three
other persons were injured. The armed robbers
managed to escape, though the police tried their
best.
"The armed robbers opened the two side doors of
their Sienna bus and were shooting from there.
Another group of armed robbers was in a Toyota
jeep while the others were in a vehicle at the back.
"The car at the back provided the escape route for
the others and all these happened within 15
minutes," another eyewitness, Kelechi, who is a bus
driver, said.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public
Relations Officer, Mr. Ahmad Mohammad, said the
quick response by the police foiled a bank robbery
within the Ikwerre axis of Port Harcourt.
He said the police got a distressed call about the
presence of armed robbers around Ikwerre road and
immediately swung into action.
Mohammad, however, stated that four persons,
including a policeman was injured during the
exchange of fire, adding that those affected were
rushed to a nearby hospital.
"It was a foiled bank robbery. Nobody lost his life, but
four persons, including a police minor injuries," the
state police spokesman stressed.
He, however, added that investigation was ongoing
with a view to arresting the hoodlums and bring
them to book, just as he assured members of the
public that the police would not fail in its
responsibility to protect lives and property in the
state.
Mohammad warned armed robbers, cultists and
kidnappers to leave the state or be ready to face the
wrath of the law whenever they were apprehended.

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