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Three armed robbery suspects have been killed in a shootout with the police at the UTC Junction in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The fourth of the four-man gang was reportedly injured in the shootout and arrested by a special intelligence team from the Inspector-General of Police.
According to eyewitnesses, confusion was unleashed in the area at about 10:30am when the incident occurred, as people ran for cover.
Punch reports that the suspects who were in one vehicle, got trapped waiting for the traffic light, during which one of the suspects came out of the car and started shooting at police officers in the area.
They were quickly engaged in a shootout during which three of the suspects were killed and the last severely injured.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, stated that the IGP Intelligence Team had intercepted the armed robbers following a tip-off.
Omoni added that the arrested suspect would be assisting the police in their investigations.
“On interrogation, the suspects said they were on a mission to attack an Arik Air plane,” the PPRO said.
He identified the injured suspect as Peter James adding that he confessed to being a member of the gang that killed a police corporal during the All Progressives Congress APC rally in Okrika in 2015.
“Today, November 28, 2016, the IGP Intelligence Response Team, working on credible intelligence, intercepted a four-man armed robbery gang, which had a mission to attack an Arik Air plane .
“They had made plans to attack the passengers and anybody who would repel them. The IGP team intercepted them and on sighting the police, the suspects opened fire on them.
“Then there was an exchange of fire at the end of which three of them were killed and one was arrested.
“The arrested suspect, who gave his name as Peter James, 30 years old, and a native of Bayelsa State, confessed to having killed a police officer, one Corporal Ifeanyi, at an APC rally in Okirika sometime last year.
“He is currently helping us with our investigation,” Omoni said.
Punch reports that amongst the items recovered from the suspects were, one GPMG rifle with 1000 rounds of ammunition, one AK-47 rifle and two loaded magazines.
Omoni went on to assure members of the public that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Francis Odesanya, will continue to uphold his promise of driving criminals out of the state.