The police have launched a manhunt for gunmen who shot dead seven policemen on Monday night at a checkpoint in Galadimawa, Abuja.
Galadimawa is on the way to Kubwa in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The “dare devil men of the underworld” outgunned a police patrol team at a spot close to the gate of the Africa Science and Technology University, it was learnt yesterday.
The policemen were there on a stop-and-search duty.
The police did not state the number of the policemen in the patrol team but said not all of them were killed.
A policeman and some members of the public were said to have been injured.
Commissioner of Police Sadiq Bello vowed that the police would bring the killers to justice.
Bello visited the scene yesterday.
He said the FCT Command’s Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CCIID) was investigating the incident.
Bello commiserated with the families of the deceased officers. He said the Command had deployed proactive security measures to protect lives and property, according to a statement by spokesman Anjuguri Manzah.
The statement said: “The FCT Commissioner of Police has reassured members of the public that the Command has deployed proactive security measures to protect lives and property in the Federal Capital Territory.”
Force spokesman Jimoh Moshood said: “The attack on police personnel and killing of seven policemen in Abuja on Monday is an indication that those who are calling for the disbandment or end to SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) are not doing the nation any good.
“These are policemen that were attacked and killed by armed robbers and other bandits.
“When you now begin to call for end to SARS, this is a living witness that police personnel die in the process of protecting Nigerians and it is important that the SARS who are the fighting arm remain.
“SARS is what the police is using to curb and reduce forms of robbery and criminality in the country.
“Investigation has commenced fully into this incident and the perpetrators would be prosecuted.”
The police also said it recorded the high number of casualties because it was a confrontation between the gunmen and the policemen.
The roundabout where the incident took place has a police post and it is about 100 metres away from the university.
A Police source who pleaded no to be named confirmed that “so many policemen were killed” but he refused to give the exact figure.
Some of those injured during the gun battle are receiving treatment in an unnamed hospital.