The deadly armed robbery attack which occurred in Kwara State on Thursday left at least 17 persons dead, including eight police officers, police said Friday.
Daredevil robbers struck five different banks in downtown Offa shortly after 4:00 p.m., blowing their ways into the vaults before carting away huge chunks of money. The specific amount is still being ascertained, police said.
The robbers also shot residents at random and launched an assault on a police station within the community, which is also home to a federal polytechnic and situated about 60 kilometres south of Ilorin, the state capital.
“Twelve people were killed at the police station, eight of them were police officers,” Kwara police commissioner Lawan Ado told PREMIUM TIMES late Friday. “The remaining four were suspects in police custody.”
The police chief said five persons were killed in indiscriminate shooting by the armed robbers on the streets of Offa. The robbers also made away with arms and ammunition from the police armoury when they attacked the police station.
The police intelligence response team have arrived from Abuja to support the team on ground for a thorough investigation, Mr. Ado said, adding that seven suspects have been taken into custody.
“We arrested one person yesterday and six persons today in connection with the robbery,” he said. “We will stop at nothing to ensure that all the suspects are arrested.”
The commissioner confirmed affected bank branches as including Zenith Bank Guarantee Trust Bank, Union Bank , First Bank and Eco Bank.
He said the police have recovered seven vehicles abandoned by the suspects in the outskirts of the town, exhibits he said would form a part of detectives’ probe into the attack.
Reports of the robbery gripped the nation on Thursday, with some accounts saying the death toll was as high as 30.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, a former governor of the state, dispatched a condolence message to the community on Thursday, promising a bitter end for the attackers and charging security agencies to take urgent measures to ensure that the suspects are arrested and future attacks are forestalled.