An officer of the Nigeria Police Force has been killed, with three others injured, by gun-wielding men raiding Runji Sambo area of Sokoto State.
The gunmen had invaded the community in the early hours of Tuesday to launch an attack.
Sighting a patrol team of the police coming their way, the gunmen opened fire on the officers, killing one and injuring three others, according to Daily Star, a Sokoto-based online newspaper.
One of the officers who narrowly escaped the attack said the assailants outnumbered them and had more sophisticated weapons such as brand new AK 47 riffles.
“At about 1:45am on Tuesday while on patrol with our Old Market Outpost Vehicle, we were moving slowly exiting the Muhammad Zanku Junction when we suddenly saw a group of gunmen numbering 20 all with sophisticated weapons who opened fire on us,” the officer said.
“Our driver was killed on the spot and the remaining three of us managed to escape before we finally called for reinforcement from our division.”
Another surviving officer of the patrol team said the gunmen thought they were being trailed by the police thus opening fire on them.
“From all indication, the gunmen must have come for a target, but when they saw the police patrol team, they thought they came for them because they all took cover and as soon as the police arrived at the junction, they just came out of hiding and started firing on sporadically,” the officer added.
“Unfortunately, the patrol team vehicle driver was hit and he died instantly.”
When contacted, Abubakar Sunusi, the Police Public Relations Officer in Sokoto, confirmed the incident but denied that a police officer was killed, despite multiple accounts from eyewitnesses.
“No police officer was killed. It was a vigilante man that was killed during the attack,” Sunusi told FIJ.
But residents and eyewitnesses insist that a policeman was indeed lost during the attack.
“There was no vigilante in the police patrol team,” an eyewitness told FIJ, “Why are the police trying to deny that an officer was killed by armed men?”
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