Some gunmen, suspected to be militants, have attacked a police checkpoint in Bayelsa State, killing a sergeant and stealing arms and ammunition.
A police corporal and two civilians were also reportedly injured by the militants.
The incident reportedly took place at the checkpoint at Kolo, in the Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
It was learnt that the incident, which occurred at about 8pm on Monday, created confusion in the community as many residents were forced to run for safety.
Community sources said the attackers, numbering four, were armed with guns and other weapons.
The police were said to have flagged down the vehicle conveying the suspects and discovered illegally bunkered kerosene during a stop-and-search.
A source said, “The attackers came down from the vehicle and shot dead the policeman (sergeant) and attacked the corporal with a machete.
“The other two policemen ran into the police station. The hoodlums reportedly chased them into the station, but left without further attacks.”
However, the Bayelsa State Police Command, in a statement on Tuesday, alleged that members of the community assisted the hoodlums to attack the policemen.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Asinim Butswat, confirmed that a sergeant was killed in the attack, adding that the hoodlums stole police firearms.
Butswat said, “The Bayelsa State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that on September 4, 2017, at about 8.30pm, policemen on vehicular patrol along Kolo 2, in the Ogbia Local Government Area, were attacked by some gunmen.
“Based on a tip-off, the policemen had intercepted a vehicle conveying suspected militants.
“Two of the suspects were arrested and handcuffed, but they resisted the attempts by policemen to search their vehicle. In the ensuing uproar, members of the community gathered around the vehicle and rescued the arrested suspects, while the policemen were attacked.
“The command regrettably lost a police sergeant and arms. A police corporal and a civilian were injured and are responding to treatment in a hospital.’’
The police spokesman urged members of the public to help the police in fighting crime rather than compounding police investigations, saying the residents were partly responsible for the attack on the policemen.