… as Police blow whistle on explosives planted by robbers
Panic has gripped residents of Ikirun in Osun State, following a public declaration by the state’s Police Command that fleeing armed robbers had planted bombs at different closets in the community.
The alarm came on the heels of last Friday’s robbery operations in Ikirun, in which dare-devil armed bandits invaded three banks, and swept clean, their vaults. Several millions of naira were carted away by the hoodlums.
Our correspondent gathered that three policemen were gunned down by men of the under-world who left some of their loot and fled into residential areas and farm yards in the town, on sighting the riot policemen.
But the police, it was learnt, killed five out of about 12 armed robbers.
Speaking on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the robberies occurred while the banks were rounding off activities for the day.
She said, “It happened this afternoon as the banks were rounding off. Five of the robbers met their waterloo. One was seriously injured while another two have been arrested live by our men. Three pistols were recovered.Some of the money was also recovered. One of the operational vehicles of the gang was recovered as well.
“Other fleeing robbers ran inside residential areas and farm yards in the area. We are warning civilians to stay clear of the area because the robbers have planted explosive devices in the area. But men of the anti-bomb disposal are on ground.”
An indigene of Ikirun, who simply identified himself as Mohammed, said though the locals appreciated the efforts of the police in containing the robbery, many of the residents had fled their homes while hundreds of others had relocated to adjourning communities.
This, he said, followed the police declaration that explosives had been planted at various places by the robbers.
HOW THE ROBBERIES TOOK PLACE
The robbers, numbering 12, reportedly arrived the community in two vehicles. They were said to have stormed Skye Bank, Union Bank and First Bank located around Eko-Inde area of the town at about 4pm.
They shot sporadically into the air to scare away residents and customers at the banks’ area. Two staff of the banks were reportedly killed by the robbers while seven residents were gunned down when the robbers were attempting to escape with their loot.
An eyewitness, who identified himself as Dada, informed our correspondent that residents of the area were frightened when the dare-devil robbers arrived the
banks in two vehicles.
Some residents were said to have sent distress calls to the police before a team of policemen arrived the town and engaged the armed robbers in a gun duel.
During this melee, seven residents of the area were shot dead while scores of others, including policemen, sustained severe injuries.
The armed robbers were said to have gained entry to the banking halls with explosive devices.
But the robbers were not as lucky, as a team of policemen from the state’s command chased and engaged them in a fierce gun duel, which saw to the killing of five of them while three others were said to have been arrested by the police.
The remains of the victims had been deposited at a morgue in the town while the police said they were on the trail of other suspects.