Soldiers, policemen in shootout with militants •5 policemen, 4 others shot •No death recorded —Police

Nine people, including five policemen, were, on Tuesday, injured as rampaging suspected militants invaded Ewedogbon community in Igando area of Lagos State.

The gunmen engaged policemen from Igando Police Station, Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command in a gun duel that lasted close to an hour.

Residents of Ewedegbon and Pacific Estate, who were shocked by witnessing the gun duel between the militants and the policemen, have, however, started relocating. Those who had not made up their minds on relocation were seen on Tuesday evening loitering around the express road with fear of being attacked in their homes.

Home of the militants’ leader.
Home of the militants’ leader.

The militants had reportedly been operating in the community for a long period of time, shuttling between the waterways in Imose and Totowu.

In combating the militants, military men from the OP MESA successfully dislodging and dismantled their homes.

A mattress, a generator, a boat engine, cooking gas and a boat anchor were recovered from the dismantled abode of the militants.

The combined security force had to employ drone and helicopter to achieve success in combating the invaders.

The militants were said to have easily overpowered the officers from Igando, before reinforcement compelled their retreat.

The militants, who operated a church in the neighbourhood, initially reportedly hid in the church and returned to confront the policemen, before they finally retreated.

None of the militants were caught or arrested.

A resident, who simply identified himself as Oyinbo said “they live down the creek side and in the past they only came out and shot in the air. It was never as serious as this.”

He added that the early Tuesday invasion might not be unconnected with the clash between the militants and some hoodlums, who were reportedly contacted by a commercial motorcyclist.

He said “the motorcyclist, Mr Sola had an encounter with them and he was injured so he went and brought some boys to confront them.”

The militants became angry early Tuesday morning and stormed the community, when they were confronted by policemen from Igando Divisional Police Station. Five of the policemen were injured as the gunmen reportedly riddled their operational patrol van with bullets.

The police team reinforced and officers from the RRS, SARS and other commands were mobilised, leading to another round of serious gun duel between the two groups.

Vandalised home of the militants.
Vandalised home of the militants.

Oseni a commercial bus driver told Lagos Metro that he and his 18 passengers narrowly escaped being caught in the web of the militants, who reportedly blocked the LASU-Iba Road. “Many people would have been killed but the militants had no intention of killing innocent people. They only concentrated on the policemen. “I had to quickly make a U-turn, when I saw them from afar. They were shooting very seriously. There were more than 15 of them,” he added.

The image maker in charge of the state police command, Dolapo Badmos, while speaking on the incident said “Some groups of people invaded the area in the early hours of today. Our operatives, positioned in strategic places were alerted.”

She continued that “They swiftly moved in and foiled the attack. Normalcy has returned to the vicinity. No single death recorded.”