Gunmen attacked two police stations and checkpoints in Port Harcourt on Friday and killed seven police officers in the process.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Saturday, a police spokesman in Rivers, SP Nnamdi Omoni, described the attacks as unprovoked and mindless.
Police and Customs officers manning various security checkpoints at the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state were killed during the attacks.
Omoni stated that the attacks were carried out in the late hours of Friday at three different police posts.
“The unknown gunmen in two Hilux vans launched surprise attacks on a police special checkpoint at Choba Bridge in Port Harcourt at about 8:30 p.m. on Friday.
“The gunmen killed two policemen on duty and set ablaze a private car belonging to one of the policemen.
“Similarly, the same hoodlums also attacked the Police Station at Rumuji in Emohua Local Government Area, killed two policemen on duty and burnt a police patrol vehicle.
“A stiff resistance by other police officers prevented the hoodlums from gaining access into the police station,’’ he stated.
Omoni added that two of the assailants were killed during an exchange of gunfire at the Rumuji Police Station.
“The Command also lost three officers during the third attack at Elimgbu Police Station on Igwuruta Road in Port Harcourt.
“The attack was resisted by our officers during a serious fire engagement that resulted in the gunmen abandoning their bullet-riddled Hilux van.
“The hoodlums fled in a snatched Sienna bus and with various gunshot wounds.
“The continued engagement by the police also forced them to abandon the Sienna car at Refinery Junction, while again escaping with bullet wounds,’’ he added.
The police spokesman said none of the police posts was burnt by the gunmen and clarified that only five assault rifles were lost during the three attacks.
He said the command had launched a manhunt for the perpetrators with a view to apprehending the culprits and bringing them to justice.
“The corpses of the fallen heroes have been evacuated and deposited in the mortuary.
“So far, the Command is relatively calm as security has been further strengthened in all police formations in the state, including other critical public and private infrastructures.
“We call on members of the public to increase their security consciousness and report any individual with gunshot wounds to the nearest police station or contact the following numbers: 08032003514; 08098880134,’’ SP Omoni added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the Friday’s attacks were the second time in Rivers in two weeks as similar attacks were recorded on security posts on April 25.
NAN gathered that four of the slain police officers were Assistant Superintendents of Police while the three others were Inspectors of Police before their demise.