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Suspected Cultists Shot Assistant Police Commissioner, 2 Policemen in Benin

Charles Nwoke, Benin City, Nigeria
November 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of local news services, fair use. 

An Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of one of the Area Commands in Edo State and two other policemen were reportedly ambushed and shot by suspected gangsters in the early hours of Friday at the popular Murtala Muhammed (MM) Way in Benin City.

The ACP and the two other officers were said to have been shot when the criminals sighted his group on a rescue mission to the crisis bedeviled MM Way, Upper Sokponba, Idogbo, and Ugbekun areas considered as core dens of criminal groups.

Scores of others also sustained injuries from a gunshot during the attack.

Both the policemen and others injured were taken to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and other nearby hospitals for treatment.

This development has heightened tension in some parts of Benin, the Edo State capital, and adjoining towns.

Recall that between Monday and Friday, over 18 persons have reportedly been killed in a renewed cult-related clashes between two rival groups (Aye and Eiye).

Though it was not clear what sparked the latest killings across major towns and some local government areas in the state, there are speculations a key gang leader was to be buried in the area, a development that attracted members of the cult from all walks.

The activities of the cultists were said to have also taken a toll on Ekenwan road, Siluko road, Wire road, Dumez road, Textile Mill road, New Benin road, Ogida Quarters, Ogbe Quarters, and Ibivwe Quarters of the City.

About 450 shops, five markets, banks, public and private schools were on Friday morning shut down over fear of attacks.

On Thursday, many parents reportedly withdrew their wards from school as soon as trouble started in the area and gunshots fired.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) SP Chidi Nwabuzor did not respond to calls placed across to him during the time of filing this report.