The incident began when the suspected cultists engaged the men from the Area Divisional Police Command in a gun duel during a routine raid of red spots in the Yenegoa metropolis.
Passerby killed by stray bullet in police-cultist gun battle
Blessing Amakiri, 20, was on Wednesday shot dead during a gun battle between policemen and suspected cultists.
Amakiri was said to have been hit by a stray bullet during the gun duel.
The incident, which occurred about 4.30pm, threw residents of the area into pandemonium while many business owners closed their shops.
According to an eyewitness who gave his name only as Solomon, Amakiri was a visitor to the area and was shot dead while scampering for safety.
A senior Police Officer, attached to the ‘A’ Division, Yenagoa, said the routine raid conducted by personnel from the divisional command was to apprehend notorious drug peddlers and cultists.
The officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “The policemen were confronted by some cultists who asked them to leave the area.
“But as the policemen refused to leave, they began to pelt them with stones, broken bottles and other dangerous weapons.”
He said when a senior officer arrived the scene, he allegedly ordered the policemen to go after the cultists.
When contacted on the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident.
He said the team of policemen were responding to a distress call about a clash between rival cult groups, Icelanders and Greenlanders.
Butswat said the corpse of Amakiri was identified by his mother and had been deposited in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.
The PPRO, who said investigation was ongoing, added that two persons were arrested and detained in connection with the incident.
He said at the conclusion of investigations, the file would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution for advice.
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