Rivers State Police Command, on Tuesday, lost four of its men, including an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), in a gun attack by armed hoodlums suspected to be sea pirates.
The policemen were said to be on patrol on the Abonema Wharf in Port Harcourt, when the masked pirates suddenly appeared and opened fire on them.
However, the only survivor of the attack, who was in the patrol boat with the other four, was said to have fallen into the river and swam to safety.
Nigerian Tribune learnt that the hoodlums, said to be 24 in number, had came in four boats and laid an ambush for the unsuspecting marine policemen, who were on a mission to prevent any criminal activity in the Abonema Wharf and its environs.
The incident, which was said to have occurred at about 3.00 p.m, caused panic as people in the area, on hearing the sound of gunshots from the sea pirates, scampered for safety.
A source at the scene of the incident said it was the first time such would happen, adding that the four policemen died before they could be rescued.
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Maritime Security News
This is the second attack on Marine Police in as many weeks, with an armoury in Calabar being hit on June 14th. On that occasion, the pirates stole heavy weapons and two gunboats. According to other media reports, pirates involved in the attack yesterday also stole the officers’ gunboat. This means that there are now three Marine Police gunboats in the hands of suspected pirates, which is a serious cause for concern for shipping and oil companies in the region.