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The Rivers State Police Command, friday , declared five operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) missing after they were ambushed by unknown gunmen at Okujagu community in Okrika local government area of the state.
A source in the area told Nigerian Pilot that the SARS operatives, Inspector Dokubo Tamunosaki, Sergeant Yohana Joshua, Sergeant Ojebo Kennedy, Sergeant Isuaya Efa and Sergeant Odeh Joseph, were ambushed and killed and later burried in a shallow grave in the community by some persons suspected to be militants, Wednesday night.
But a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ahmad Muhammad, indicated that investigation were still on to ascertain the whereaboits of the missing operatives. The statement also said the sixth operative, Inspector Aferuan Imoukhuede, was rescued about 24 hours after the incident.
The statement said the policemen were in Okujagu community on a routine police inquiry when they were ambushed by unknown gunmen, adding that the gunmen bombarded the SARS operatives with a barrage of heavy gunfire, forcing them to scamper for safety.
The statement reads: “The Rivers State Police Command has announced the missing of five policemen who along with other colleagues were ambushed in the early hours of Wednesday 25/05/2016 at the Okujagu community, Okrika local government area.
“The policemen went to Okujagu community on a routine police inquiry when they were ambushed by unknown gunmen before they could disembark from the boat that ferried them, they were bombarded with a barrage of heavy gunfire which forced them to scamper for cover.
“By the time the firing ended, six policemen comprising two inspectors and four other rank and file could not be accounted for but a day after Inspector Aferuan Imoukhuede who was among the missing policemen was rescued”.
According to the statement, 53 persons have been arrested in connection with the incident and are currently undergoing interrogation while the Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo, has set up an investigative panel, headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police incharge of State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID) to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“String operations by the command are still on the top gear to rescue the remaining five missing policemen. 53 suspects have been arrested in connection to the incident and are presently undergoing interrogation.
“The Commissioner of Police has set up a high powered investigative panel headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Investigation Department to unravel the circumstances surrounding the entire incident”, the statement read.
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