Unidentified gunmen have killed three police officers in an attack on a Divisional Police Station in Kajuru, the headquarters of Kajuru Local Government Area, Kaduna State.
The hoodlums, armed with sophisticated weapons, were said to have launched the attack at the police station at about 11:30p.m. on Monday.
They were said to have broken the cell opened and freed all the suspected criminals who were being detained at the station.
Two of the policemen were said to have died on the spot while the third person, who was among two others who sustained injuries, died on the way to St. Gerald Hospital in Kaduna, about 30 minutes drive from Kajuru.
It was learnt that the policemen on duty at the time of the attack were overwhelmed by the superior fire power of the attackers and had to run away for their lives. However, three of their colleagues fell to the bullets of the hoodlums.
Some of the policemen were said to have disguised as suspects in the cell by immediately pulling off their uniforms while others managed to escape into the nearby bush.
One of the policemen who survived the attack, told THISDAY on condition of anonymity that the gunmen came in many vehicles and started shooting sporadically as they arrived the police station.
“We were not many and we couldn’t stand their sophisticated weapons. They killed three of our colleagues; an inspector and a sergeant were killed. Two of our colleagues sustained serious injuries and were being rushed to the hospital in Kaduna. A female police officer died on the way to the hospital.
Recalling the incident further, the policeman said: “They (gunmen) came around 11:30p.m. yesterday (on Monday) and they operated for about one hour. It was the mobile police located in a different area that save the situation; otherwise they would have started attacking residents of the town.
“If not for the intervention of the mobile police, it could have been hell for the residents of the area. They were many, they came in many vehicles, they released all the suspects detained in the cell and some of us immediately removed our uniforms and pretended as if we were also some of the suspects in the cell. That was how we survived, others managed to escape into the bush.”
A source also claimed that the gunmen must have arrived the town in the day time and took their time to monitor activities in the town and at the police station before launching their attack in the night.
He wondered why in spite of the numerous military checkpoints along the road, the gunmen could attack a police station and run away without being apprehended.
He noted: “Kajuru is just a 25 or 30 minutes drive from Kaduna, there are many checkpoints along the way, from Kaduna to Kajuru down to Kachia, Zonkwa and the entire part of the southern Kaduna, so when things like this happened without anybody being arrested, it baffles us.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olufemi Adenaike, could not respond to telephone calls by our reporter, but sent an SMS saying” “Sorry, I’ will call back later.” However, the command’s spokesman, Aminu Lawan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the attack, saying that the command was still assessing the incident and details would be made known later.
“We are still assessing the details and we will let you know when we are through” he said in a telephone interview.
Before the attack, there had been rumours of a letter, allegedly written to the state police command by some people, threatening to commence attacks on places like Sabon-Tasha in the southern part of Kaduna metropolis and other adjourning areas, down to the southern part of the state.
Meanwhile the state Governor, Alhaji Muktar Yero, has condemned the attack, calling on security operatives to intensify investigation to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Yero, who visited the scene of incident on Tuesday, also urged residents of the area to be calm, assuring that the state government was determined to tackle the activities of criminals who are bent at creating tension in the state.
According to him, the state government was ready to provide all necessary support to security agencies to ensure peace and security of lives and property of the citizenry.
The governor also expressed his condolences to the families of those killed in the attack and promised to assist them.
He also promised to settle the hospital bills of those being treated at the St. Gerald Catholic Hospital.