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Gunmen kill 2 policemen, civilian in Imo

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Two policemen and a passer-by were shot dead early yesterday by some unidentified gunmen at a police checkpoint at Akabo, near Owerri, Imo State.

An eyewitness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the gunmen stormed the checkpoint, located along Okigwe Road in Ikeduru Local Government Area, in three vehicles at about 6.30 a.m.

“They came in three vehicles to the checkpoint and suddenly opened fire, killing two policemen on the spot.

“On hearing the gunshots, I quickly scampered for safety for my dear life,” said the source.

The source, who had stepped out to buy bread for the children’s breakfast, further said a stray bullet from the shots fired by the hoodlums hit and killed a male passer-by.

However, the source added that other police officers fired back, forcing the attackers to retreat.

Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of the Imo Police Command, ASP Henry Okoye, said the state Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Aboki Danjuma, had ordered a manhunt for the gunmen.

“The CP has deployed the command’s Special Tactical Squad and equipped them with available operational resources and intelligence to go all out in synergy with other security agencies and clamp down on the hoodlums responsible for the unprovoked and unwarranted attack and killings.

“The operatives fought gallantly but unfortunately, two personnel and a civilian were fatally hit,” he said.

Okoye said the CP and some personnel of the command later visited the crime scene for assessment.

“As we speak, intense operation is ongoing in the area for possible apprehension and prosecution of the fleeing hoodlums responsible for the senseless act of violence.

“More so, the CP has set up a high-powered investigation team and tasked them to carry out a comprehensive investigation to unravel perpetrators of the attack,” he added.

He said the bodies of the affected officers and the civilian had been recovered and deposited in a mortuary for preservation.

The command’s spokesman commiserated with families of the dead and assured that the command would leave no stone unturned at ensuring the hoodlums are arrested and prosecuted.

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