Alexander Okere, Benin
No fewer than 10 persons have been reportedly killed by suspected armed robbers in Igarra, in the Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Johnson Kokumo, confirmed the incident to The PUNCH.
Although details of the incident were still sketchy as of the time of filing the report, it was gathered that the attack occurred on Thursday evening.
Recall that a gang of armed robbers had robbed two commercial banks in the area in 2015, leaving at least six persons dead.
It was gathered that the gunmen on Thursday invaded the town, in an attempt to rob the Unity Bank and Keystone Bank branches in the area.
They were said to have earlier stormed a police station close to the banks in a bid to demobilise the security operatives.
A policeman and two detainees were said to have been shot dead at the police station while three other persons outside the station were killed by the robbers.
It was learnt that the official vehicle of a newly posted area commander was set ablaze by the attackers.
The PUNCH learnt that the gunmen later made their way to the commercial banks, where four other persons were killed.
Although sources said that the robbers found it difficult to access the vaults of the banks, it was not clear if they succeeded in carting away cash.
One of the residents, Ofei Obende, said that the youths tried to resist the robbers but were overpowered by their superior firepower.
Obende, however, noted that the daredevil robbers were later engaged in an exchange of gunfire by the police.
But police commissioner told our correspondent that three of the robbers were killed during the gun duel.
Kokumo said, "I am intercepting messages; give me few minutes so that I can brief you. But the good news is we gunned three of the robbers down."