Four policemen and some unidentified persons were shot dead on Wednesday when unidentified armed men attacked a checkpoint in Obeagu-Amechi Community in the Enugu South Local Government Area.
Besides the security operatives, many residents and passersby, who ran into the incident, were reportedly killed or severely wounded by stray bullets in the ensuing gunfight.
Cross River Times gathered that the policemen repelled the attack, although there were casualties on both sides.
Eyewitnesses said the attack, which started at about 5:30 pm on Wednesday at a busy spot at Mmiri Ocha Amodu, lasted till 7 pm.
A source, who craved anonymity, said he identified four policemen, one pastor and a neighbourhood watch officer among the dead who have been taken to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku – Ozalla mortuary.
The source said: “The gun battle between the policemen and the unknown gunmen was too heavy.
“The entire area was thrown into confusion as everybody within the scene scampered for safety.
“We have not experienced this type of incident in this area. It happened along Obeagu–Amechi Road to Agbani Nkanu a few kilometres from Enugu State capital.”
However, the operatives of the Amagunze police division, who were quickly alerted, ambushed the gunmen as they attempted to escape and shot dead some of them, according to the source, who also added that a police patrol van was set ablaze by the gunmen during the attack.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Daniel Ndukwe, confirmed the incident but was silent on the number of casualties.
Ndukwe said: “Information surrounding the shooting incidents in the evening hours of today, 21/07/2021, where police operatives were allegedly attacked by yet-to-be-identified gunmen at checkpoints in Obeagu-Amechi in Enugu South LGA and Amagunze in Nkanu East LGA is still sketchy.”
He said preliminary investigation had commenced, assuring that further development would be communicated.
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, yesterday, offered automatic employment to the wives of the slain police officers.
Ugwuanyi also paid three-month salaries of their late husbands including other cash donations.
The governor announced the employment offer when he paid condolence visits to families of some of the slain police officers.
He, however, said the employment offer could be swapped for scholarship for their children up to secondary school.