By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt |
The Rivers State Police Command has launched full investigation into early Sunday morning attack on several security checkpoints along the Port Harcourt – Owerri Road, in Ikwerre local government area of the state, leading to the death of no fewer than eight security operatives.
The Police public relations officer (PPRO) in the state, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who disclosed this in a short message service (SMS) sent to journalists in Port Harcourt, however, said details of the attacks were still sketchy.
Omoni said: “I can confirm the attack on security personnel along the Omagwa/Isiokpo/Elele – Owerri Road. Details sketchy.
“The CP has launched a full scale investigation into the dastardly attack with a view to arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
Related: Gunmen Attack JTF, Customs Checkpoints In Rivers
“Meanwhile area is calm with reinforced and increased joint patrols of that stretch and other areas in the State by the security agencies. So far, the State is calm and secure and no cause for alarm.”
LEADERSHIP gathered that the checkpoints attacked included that of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) and that of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) located between Elele, Isiokpo and Omagwa communities.
Although there was no official confirmation of the casualty figure, a source in Elele community, who pleaded for anonymity said no fewer than eight security operatives were killed during the attacks while several patrol vehicles were set ablaze by the attackers.
The source said: “Eight security men were killed last night when unknown gunmen attacked the security checkpoints along Omagwa to Elele Road. Out of the eight personnel killed, three of them are Airforce personnel, three are Customs personnel while two are of Police.
“Some of them were beheaded. We are in serious trouble in this country as nobody is safe again.”
Another source told LEADERSHIP: “I saw some burnt cars at JTF checkpoints while I was going to Elele this morning. Obviously no where is safe in Nigeria.
“Two burnt corpses were recovered at the JTF checkpoint. While three were recovered at the Customs checkpoint.
“A rifle each was stolen from the JTF and Customs officers while two Hilux ick-up vans with sirens were also carted away from the Customs.
“With all these gotten, they proceeded to attempt to attack Isiokpo Police Area Command but policemen repelled them.”
“Police officers in the area are on red alert as they are currently hunting for the attackers,” he added.