… Five others injured
Two persons were on Tuesday feared killed following a fierce gun duel between security operatives and pipeline vandals in Lagos.
Five persons were also reportedly injured in the incident.
The incident which occurred at Seventh Avenue, Festac Town, sent residents of the entire Amuwo Odofin local government area into panic.
At first, people thought the dare-devil armed robbers who raided two banks last month and wreaked havoc in Festac had returned.
Gripped by fear, the residents reportedly stayed put in their homes, with many lying on the floor to avoid stray bullets.
However, a motorcyclist, Stephen Manga and his roommate, Joseph Zira, were not as fortunate as stray bullet from the vandals’ gun pierced their shanty home and penetrated their legs right inside their room.
The Nation gathered that three soldiers also sustained bullet wounds on their legs, while a vandal was killed and several others escaped with gunshot wounds.
Our correspondent learnt that a mobile policeman was killed by some of the fleeing criminals around Alakija, after they snatched a commercial bus and forced the driver to whisk them away.
Manga, who claimed they were held hostage by the vandals until soldiers arrived, said the shooting lasted over four hours.
He said the hooded vandals were about 50 in number, with some dressing in Army camouflage.
“We stay in that Pako near where those people usually steal fuel beside Elcee events Centre, Fourth Avenue, by Seventh Avenue. Our house is built with stick and many of us live here.
“We started hearing gunshots at about 4:41am. We did not know what was happening and we could not come out.
“Everyone was in their own room and I was in my room with my friend, Joseph. We were lying down beside each other with our legs facing the road.
“The shooting continued with the vandals talking to themselves. I don’t think the army was there at that time.
“But around 7:00am, some army people ran to our place and the next thing, bullet hit my leg, came out from the other side and entered my friend’s leg too and came out.
“We were bleeding and the army people directed us to a hospital. Our brothers, who also live in the place, saw the bullet. They picked it and gave it to the soldiers. The bullet looks white and not very big.
“So, as they told us to go to the hospital, they also chased everyone from the place. They helped us live so that those people won’t kill us all.
“At first I was taken to Mercy Gate Hospital but they refused to treat me until the army people called and spoke with them on phone and my people also went and brought police report from Area E Command.
“The hospital did not treat my brother because of money. I paid for my treatment and my brother went to another place where he was treated and he paid too,” said Manga.
Another resident who gave his name as Munyale Kwada said the hoodlums initially overpowered the army.
Kwada said the army retreated, went for reinforcement and brought in three armoured tanks and engaged the bandits who were already chanting victory songs.
“The shooting started around 4:00am. We were looking for how to come out but no way. So, we were trapped in the shooting by the criminals until the army came and rescued us.
“The thieves were shooting on their own for about two hours. When the army came, they told us to remain inside and that no one should come out.
“The boys were many and they covered their faces. I heard army saying they should go. Army people were telling their colleagues that they should go because the boys were many and three soldiers have been injured.
“When army left, the criminals started singing. They were singing and shooting. They covered everywhere up to W Close on Seventh Avenue. They blocked the entire road and were shooting continuously.
“So, army came back reinforced and with three armoured tanks. The shooting continued till about 8:00am when the vandals ran away,” he stated.