Unknown gunmen have reported killed four police officers and at least 11 declared missing in a coordinated ambush on a police team in Benue State.
A vehicle belonging to the security personnel was reportedly set on fire while some houses were also burnt during the attack which occurred when the officers were on a patrol from Anyibe to Ayilamo in Logo local government area of the state.
In a statement on Monday, Moses Yamu, police public relations officer (PPRO) in Benue, confirmed the tragic incident.
He said the inspector-general of police had deployed a team which is in pursuit of the “murderous gang”. “Sadly, at the moment, four casualties have been suffered by the police,” he said in a statement.
“Additional reinforcement (including the air asset of the police) deployed by the inspector-general of police is in pursuit of the murderous gang. They shall definitely be apprehended with their weapons of destruction and made to face the full wrath of the law.”
Meanwhile, another person was reportedly killed after members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) clashed with the police around the Unity Fountain in Abuja.
According to eye witness accounts, the deceased was an IMN member.
“He was shot dead while trying to gain access to the Unity Fountain alongside members of the sect,” the witness said.
On Friday, the police announced a ban on protests at the garden but IMN members assembled around the place on Monday but were denied access.
The protesters were said to have stood their ground and when the police lost control of the crowd, they started firing gunshots into the air.
A bullet fired by one of the officers was said to have pierced the window of an office at the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) headquarters.
In recent times, Shi’ites have been converging on the Unity Fountain to demand the release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the group, who has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) for over two years.
El-Zakzaky was arrested in December 2015 after some of his followers clashed with soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state.