10 die in Ebonyi gun duel
ENUGU – TEN persons including a soldier were killed, yesterday, as officers of the 24 Engineer Regiment in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state engaged suspected armed robbers in a gun duel along Akaeze end of the Afikpo – Okigwe Expressway.
No fewer than nine of the suspected robbers died in the shoot-out while several others including two military officers sustained varying degrees of gunshot injuries.
The Assistant Director of the Army Public Relations of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, Lt Col Sagir Musa who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the robbers were fleeing after a failed bank robbery at Ikom in Cross River state in which nine persons including a police officer were killed.
They were however intercepted by soldiers on routine patrol in Ebonyi state.
He said: “At about 1830 hours on Tuesday 24 January 2012, there was a failed/foiled bank robbery attack at Ikom in Cross River state which led to the death of 8 civilians and a policeman.
“The Robbers fled towards Ebonyi state in two vehicles through Ugep-Abomigbe Rd. Soldiers on routine patrol in Ebonyi state were fully informed and subsequently they intercepted the robbers along Afikpo-Amasire axis heading towards Enugu-Port-Harcourt express way through Okigwe, just 10 km to Akaeze.
“At that point, there was heavy exchange of fire which resulted in the death of one soldier and two soldiers were wounded. Seven robbers were killed, two seriously wounded and bled to death before reaching the hospital.”
Musa who disclosed that six of the suspected robbers escaped with bullet wounds into the nearby bush added that among the items recovered were two RPG7 bombs, 28 empty magazine, two Gas Cylinders, 37 empty cases of 7.62 mm special ammunition, 22 rounds of live 7.62mm special ammunition and two vehicles.
/According to the Army Spokesman, immediately they received intelligence report about the robbers escaping from the failed bank robbery, troops of 24 Engineer Regiment, 82 Division Garrison and 103 Battalion were alerted to block all possible escape routes especially the Afikpo-Okigwe road, Enugu-Abakaliki road, Abakaliki-Ogojo road and Abakaliki-Itigidi-Ugep road which made it difficult for them to escape.