Some operatives of the Nigerian Police were on Monday engaged in a gun battle with suspected herdsmen, dressed in police uniform, armed with AK-47 rifles and other dangerous weapons, in Delta State, leaving a number of police officers, including an Area Commander, injured, while some are missing.
According to Vanguard, the police team, including men of the Dragon, Quick Response Squad, QRS and Ughelli Area Command patrol team, led by the Area Commander, Ughelli, had stormed Orhorho community and surroundings in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that the move was due to incessant reports of rape and attacks on villagers by herdsmen, who were taking cover in the bush. But as soon as the policemen arrived, the herdsmen opened fire.
The police officers, numbering over 60, had stormed the community to enforce an ultimatum issued the herdsmen to leave. Though details of the incident were still sketchy at press time, sources said the head of the police team was among the wounded in the gun battle.
A source, who craved anonymity, said police officers were ambushed by the herdsmen, who he said opened fire on them, as they were approaching the community.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard on phone yesterday evening, the Delta State Police Commissioner, Zanna Ibrahim, said: “There was no injury.
“What happened was that the policemen were fatigued. They entered the terrain they were not used to and some of them collapsed out of fatigue.”
He said none was injured, but admitted that the Area Commander, who led the team and one other person were exhausted.