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Gunmen kill three policemen at Abia checkpoint, steal two rifles

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Gunmen, yesterday, killed three policemen on duty at a checkpoint in Abriba area of Abia State and carted away two rifles from them.

According to a report, the policemen on duty about 8.30 a.m., identified as Insp. Austin Ugwu, Insp. Longinus Ugochukwu and Cst. Ifeanyi Ama, were ambushed and killed by yet to be identified hoodlums who also carted away two rifles.

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Ude Chukwu, during a visit to Orie Akwa Abriba, said that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was saddened by the incident, which, he said, threw the community into fear of possible reprisal by security operatives.

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He stated: “The government is saddened by the unfortunate attack, which led to the death of police officers at Agu Eze checkpoint. Governor Ikpeazu, on receiving the news, directed me to come and assure you that we will do everything possible to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly act and protect Ndi Abriba and all law-abiding people in the state.

“We call on you to maintain vigilance to fish out criminals and hoodlums who may want to come here to attack innocent people as they go about their legitimate businesses. We have spoken to the security authorities to avoid indiscriminate arrests, but ensure a painstaking investigation that will ensure that only those responsible for the dastardly act are brought to justice as quickly as possible.”

Government, he added, will deploy all necessary resources available to it to ensure the protection of the people and all law-abiding citizens in the state, but still urged community vigilance and support to security agents to ensure that the perpetrators are quickly identified and brought to justice.

Earlier at the scene of the incident, Dr. Chukwu sympathised with the families and friends of the officers who lost their lives in the attacks and prayed to God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss.

He urged that a proper community vigilante and information gathering mechanism be put in place to ensure prevention of further crimes.

In his remarks, the Abriba Enachioken/traditional ruler, Eze Kalu Ogbu, who spoke through Eze Eme Ikpoka, assured that the community would fully cooperate with security agencies to protect the people and prevent the perpetrators from escaping justice.

He, however, urged government to prevail on security agents not to engage in mass arrests, but skillfully investigate the matter.

“We have dispatched hunters and youths into the surrounding forests to track down the hoodlums,” he said.

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