Gunmen kill 38 policemen in Nigeria's restive south

19:29, November 16, 2010      

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The police in southern Nigeria's Abia said it had lost 38 policemen and officers to gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in the last few months.

State commissioner of police Jonathan Johnson disclosed this in Umuahia, the state capital on Monday, while presenting the arms surrendered by some fleeing kidnappers to the state governor, Theodore Orji.

Johnson said 10 policemen were injured during the operations, six of them had been discharged from the hospital while the remaining four were still receiving treatment.

The arms were recovered during the second amnesty program, which the state government cancelled, the commissioner said.

He said the program was yielding results before its cancellation.

Johnson said the arms were recovered in the kidnappers' camps, explaining that some of the fleeing suspects informed the police about the locations of the arms they were using for their activities.

"Some of the arms are 20 AK 47, 12 locally made AK 47, seven assault rifles, one general purpose machine gun, four rocket launchers, 15 pistols and 12 dynamites," he added.

"Others are 23 double-barrelled guns 106 assorted magazines, gas cylinders, tool boxes and one G3riffle," he said.

The commissioner thanked the state government for empowering the police to combat the crime, stressing that those who died during the operations had paid the supreme price to make Abia free of kidnapping.

Speaking while inspecting the arms, Orji said the police should compile the names of the dead officers to see how the state government can compensate their families.

The governor expressed the sympathy of the government and people of Abia to the police command and especially the bereaved families, stressing that Abia was now a safe heaven for investors.

"There was a time when Abia was synonymous with kidnapping. We tried the amnesty option and it failed before inviting the army to come to our aid," he said.

Orji said the second amnesty programme was partially successful because of the harvest of arms by the committee.

The governor stressed that his administration would continue to provide the enabling environment for the force to do its work.

Source: Xinhua


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