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Robbers set banks ablaze, kill five in Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State

01/05/2012 19:40:00 NAN

Robbers incapacitate the police in Ondo and raid three banks

Armed robbers besieged the sleepy town of Ikare-Akoko in Ondo State on Monday night and used dynamites to blow open the security gates of three banks.

According to the Police Public Relations officer in the state, Adeniran Aremu, who confirmed the incident, the affected banks are the Ecobank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and the First Bank Plc.

Fear gripped the residents who scampered out to establish what had gone amiss as the robbers followed each dynamite explosion with sporadic gun fires.

In the melee, five persons were killed by stray bullets but the Police authorities in the state confirmed the death of only two persons.
Those who died were a pastor, two commercial motorcyclists, a security guard and a teenager simply identified as Oniwu.
Investigations showed that the robbers on their arrival in the town went straight to the police station and dislodged the security personnel by shooting sporadically at them.

The station was immediately deserted as the policemen on duty took to their heels following their inability to confront the superior fire power of the rampaging robbers.

NAN further learnt that the officers fled to request for reinforcement at both Owo, also in Ondo State and at Akure, a distance of about 50 kilometers and 100 kilometers from Ikare, respectively.

The robbers had moved to the premises of the affected banks before the arrival of more security personnel and they blew-off the security gates.

It was gathered that they carried out the operations simultaneously at the three banks while the Armoured Personnel Carrier stationed at Ikare to control robbery attacks was badly damaged and de-mobilised.

The driver of the APC, and a policeman, who were hit by bullets were said to be on danger list at a hospital along with several others who sustained injuries as a result of the sporadic shootings.

NAN further learnt that a group of armed robbers had earlier on Monday evening laid siege on Akure/Owo highway and dispossessed travelers of their valuables.

They were said to have been dislodged by policemen who engaged them in a gun battle during which two of the robbers were killed.

The PPRO explained that those who died came out of their homes when they heard the sounds of the guns and were killed by the stray bullets of the robbers who shot sporadically into the air.

The police spokesman said that more policemen had been deployed to the town while the police had started efforts to track down the fleeing robbers.

“The DPO of Ikare, Aliyu Lukman, made a distress call to the headquarters and reinforcement was sent to Ikare immediately.

“The timely intervention of the police did not allow the robbers to gain access into the banks’ vaults.

“Our men also on Monday evening, killed one armed robber and arrested another four who blocked the Owo-Akure Road to raid travelers and dispossess them of their valuables,” Mr. Aremu said.

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