Armed attackers have gunned down seven police officers in Abuja. The incident reportedly occurred at Galadimawa Junction, just off the international airport road.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police commissioner, Sadiq Bello, informed PREMIUM TIMES of the incident Tuesday afternoon.
The police chief was, however, unable to immediately provide full details of how it occurred, saying the FCT police spokesperson, Anjuguri Manzah, will provide further details to this newspaper shortly.
This latest killing occurs about three days after two police officers were killed in Akwa Ibom.
The police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, confirmed that killing to PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday evening.
It also occurs less than three months after about 10 police officers were killed in an ambush in Benue State.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday evening, the police did not disclose how the officers were killed or the possible motives or identity of the suspects.
The statement, signed by Mr Manzah, only said ‘men of the underworld’ were responsible for the attack, without elaborating. When PREMIUM TIMES called him to provide further information about whether the ‘men of the underworld’ are suspected armed robbers, kidnappers or other criminal gangs, he declined to say.
The police spokesperson also declined to say whether the officers were on a patrol in their vehicle or manning a checkpoint when the gunmen struck.
There are already speculations online that the officers were killed while trying to search a vehicle. PREMIUM TIMES could not independently corroborate this, however.
Mr Manzah said the commissioner visited Galadimawa junction for a first-hand assessment of the scene. He lauded the bravery of the slain officers and condole with their loved ones.
Read the full police statement below:
The FCT Commissioner of Police has reassured members of the public that the Command has deployed proactive security measures to protect lives and property in the Federal Capital Territory.
2. He stated this on Tuesday during his visit to Galadimawa round-about for on the spot assessment of the unfortunate incident that claimed the lives of some policemen during a fierce gun battle with some daredevil men of the underworld.
3. While commiserating with families of the deceased policemen who paid the supreme price while serving their fatherland, the Commissioner of Police wishes to assure law abiding FCT residents and the general public that the Command has set machineries in motion to arrest the fleeing assailants and bring them to justice.
4. Meanwhile, the Command Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department has since commenced discreet investigation to unmask the identities of the criminal elements behind the dastardly act.