The Rivers State Police Command has begun the search for eight AK47 rifles stolen by gunmen who killed seven of its operatives at the weekend.
A situation report showed that the rifles were snatched during the attacks by the gunmen on two police checkpoints and two divisional headquarters.
At the C4I checkpoint in Choba where the gunmen killed an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and an Inspector, two rifles were snatched and a patrol van set ablaze.
At another checkpoint in front of Rumuji Divisional Headquarters where the armed men beheaded another ASP and an Inspector, the police lost two AK47 rifles. A special constable was said to have escaped with a bullet that hit his chest at the Rumuji checkpoint.
The gunmen stole four AK47 rifles when they attacked the Elimgbu Division and killed two ASPs and an Inspector
The team was said to be combing the waterfronts and bushes surrounding Port Harcourt, the state capital, and its boundary communities for the gunmen.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the search for the rifles and the attackers, said: “The command is relatively calm. The public is hereby enjoined to increase their security consciousness and report any person or persons with gun wounds to the nearest police station.”
Residents of the state have however raised concerns over the rising number of illegal arms in the hands of criminals.
Some of them recalled that after the attacks on security formations and the killing of nine security operatives in the Oyigbo Local Government, over 50 AK47 rifles were reported missing.
“We are scared. We don’t know what will happen after this ongoing stockpiling of arms by these people. Security agencies especially the police should activate their intelligence departments and conduct operations to retrieve these arms”, a resident, who identified himself simply as Emmanuel, said.
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