THREE persons among them a police officer were seriously injured during an exchange of gunshots between policemen and some youths at Gaando in Gboko local government area of Benue State.
Tribune Online learnt that the policemen had moved to the area to quell the crisis and dismantled road blocks mounted by youths in protest of the multiple taxation imposed by Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) on farm produce, particularly, tomatoes.
Gaando is one of the tomatoes market in the state and Wednesday was a market day.
Tribune Online gathered that youths in their hundreds stormed out on the market day and barricaded the road close to the Dangote Cement Company in Tse-Kucha for over four hours causing traffic gridlock.
Several motorists travelling along the road, which is a major federal highway, had to stop for several hours before police successfully dismantled the road block.
The protest however became bloody when men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were deployed to the area to quell the protest as the youths who were also said to be armed, engaged them in gun duel. In the process, a policeman and two others were hit.
The State Police Public Relations’ Officer, ASP Moses Yamu, who confirmed the incident in a telephone chat with newsmen said 16 persons have already been arrested and are undergoing interrogation.