5 killed as bandits invade bank in southern Nigeria

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5 killed as bandits invade bank in southern Nigeria

Postby Richard Akindele » Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:07 am

Five people, including four policemen, were feared killed in a bank robbery when a gang of over 20 armed robbers attacked a bank on Bonny Island in Nigeria's southern state of Rivers, a police spokeswoman said on Saturday.

Ireju Barasua, public relations officer of the Rivers State Police Command, told reporters in the state capital Port Harcourt that the robbers also carted away 400,000 naira (about 3,100 U.S. dollars).

She said the bandits swooped on the bank at about 2 a.m. (0100 GMT) on Friday, after laying ambush for the police and cordoning off the Bonny roundabout.

Barasua said informants alerted the police following sporadic shooting, adding that the police moved in with other members of the joint military task force, comprising the Army, Navy and Airforce.

"The police team ran into the robbers' ambush losing four of their men and a civilian," the spokeswoman explained.

She said the robbers could only penetrate one of the strong rooms of the bank where they got the 400,000 naira before the joint task force dislodged them.

Barasua said the bandits escaped through the Bonny water front, abandoning 38 live 7.8mm ammunition, one live 7.68mm ammunition and a polythene bag suspected to the container for dynamites at the scene.

"Also recovered were 203 shells of 7.8mm ammunition and 49 empty shells of 6.2mm ammunition," she added.

Barasua said Rivers State Commissioner of Police Sam Adetuyi had directed detailed investigation into the incident while man hunt for the robbers was being intensified.

Source: Xinhua
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