Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Suspected gunmen have ravaged Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, shooting two policemen in a popular hotel and killing another at the Joepal Shopping mall in Amarata.
Also, THISDAY findings revealed that the gunmen, who are still at large, carted away two rifles belonging to the cops before shooting in the air to scare away passers-by.
The attack on the first two policemen, who were on duty, took place at Udeme Hotels along Diepreye Alamieyeseigha road in Yenagoa, belonging to Senator Emmanuel Paulker, currently representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District.
Eyewitness accounts revealed that the gunmen reportedly caught the security operatives unaware as they posed as customers before opening fire on the policemen.
One account said the bandits “drove into the hotel in a Toyota Camry and pretended that they wanted to lodge. It was not clear if they robbed the hotel, apart from the guns they stole from their victims.
While one of the policemen died instantly, the account explained that another was severely injured, currently battling for his life in a hospital in the capital city.
At the shopping mall, where a cop on duty was also murdered on the spot, THISDAY findings revealed that that the armed robbers raided the business premises of the mall regarded as one of the biggest and busiest in Bayelsa.
The Public Relations Officer of Bayelsa State Police Command, Mr Asinim Butswat confirmed one of the incidents in a statement, claiming that some suspects had been arrested.
The statement said, “On March 15, at about 2100 hours, unknown gunmen operating in a Toyota Camry car, with registration number unknown, went to a Hotel at Opolo, Yenagoa and without provocation opened fire at the two Policemen on duty.
“The Policemen fired back at the armed robbers and in the ensuing gun battle, one sergeant was fatally wounded, he was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, where he was later confirmed dead. The other policeman is responding to treatment.
“The unknown gunmen escaped with bullets wounds. Based on a tip-off a notorious criminal hideout was raided, where their cohorts were arrested and they have volunteered useful information. Efforts have been intensified to arrest the gunmen.”
Some hoodlums had earlier attacked a checkpoint in the state capital, under the Julius Berger flyover, where they killed one policemen and snatched two rifles.