From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Police Command said it could confirm the unprovoked and mindless attack on policemen and vehicles on Friday night.
State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, a Superintendent of Police (SP), in a statement, said the incident, which led to the death of seven policemen, occurred about 10:30pm.
Omoni said unknown gunmen driven in two branded Hilux vans, attacked the special check point at Choba bridge, where in a surprised attack, killed two policemen on duty and set ablaze a private car belonging to one of the victims.
He said a similar attack was launched at Rumuji Police Station by the same hoodlums who killed two policemen on duty and burnt a Police patrol vehicle.
According to him, a stiff resistance by the Police prevented the hoodlums from gaining access into the Police station, and gunmen were killed.
“In the course of exchange of fire, two of the attackers were fatally wounded and died on the spot”.
The PPRO disclosed that the third attack at Elimgbu Police Station was equally resisted by the Police, though three officers were killed in that attack, but the serious fire engagement made them to abandon their bullet riddled Hilux van, while they escaped with various degrees of gunshot wounds with a snatched Sienna bus.
He said the continued engagement by the Police also forced them (gunmen) to abandon the Sienna car they were using to escape at the Refinery junction, while their remnants again escaped with bullet wounds.
Omoni added that the corpses of the “fallen hero” have been evacuated and deposited in the mortuary.
He said the Commissioner of Police, CP. Eboka Friday, who led members of his management team and tactical commanders to the respective scenes this yesterday morning, for an on-the-spot assessment, has launched a serious manhunt for the preparators with a view to apprehending the culprits and bringing them to justice.
The police spokesman said the Commissioner of Police later had a security meeting with his team, adding that security has been further beefed up in all the Police formations in the State, including other critical public and private infrastructure.
He expressed: “It is pertinent to note, that in all three attacks carried out last night, no Police Station/formation was burnt. Regrettably, a total of five assault rifles were lost in the incident”.
Omoni enjoined members of the public to increase their security consciousness and report any person or persons with gun wounds to the nearest Police Station.