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Sunday, December 23, 2012
Policeman killed, others injured after robbers invade Anambra State
The commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State was on friday thrown into confusion as armed robbers stormed the popular Ochanja main market, robbing traders of their money and other valuables.
It was learnt that as the robbery operation was in progress, the heavily armed gunmen shot repeatedly into the air to scare away traders but a team of policemen led by DPO of the Central Police Station, Mr. Tope Fasugba and his Fegge counterpart, Mr. John Mark, intervened and opened fire on them.
Unfortunately, during the gun duel, stray bullets hit three persons while one of the police officers who came to calm the situation died in the process.
Eyewitness said, “The armed robbers were running from the police patrol van that was chasing them, when they got to Ochanja roundabout, they started shooting sporadically into the air to scare people away, but policemen were approaching and they alighted from their own car and started running. They mixed up with the crowd that was already tensed and in the process, three of them escaped”.
However, another police source said that after the fire exchange, one of the suspected robbers was later apprehended by the police.
The source said, “I don’t want to be quoted as saying this, but all I know was that when the suspects mixed up with the crowd, the police could not fire in order not to kill innocent people, but our man, who was not in uniform, was able to grab one of the suspects and a struggle ensued. At the end, the suspect was disarmed by our man and that led to his arrest by the angry mob and was burnt alive.”
Confirming the incident that held the town to a standstill for hours , the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Ralph Uzoigwe, said that his office was yet to be informed about the death of any policeman.
The police boss added that investigations are currently ongoing to arrest other members of the gang who narrowly escaped.