From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
No fewer than 14 suspected members of a notorious criminal gang were shot dead and others wounded, including two ladies, in the early hours of yesterday when they engaged security operatives in gun duel. The latter had stormed their camp in Kanni in Ogoni local government area of Rivers State.
The incident occurred at 2:50a.m, following investigation into the recent abduction of one Biram Karakus, a Turkish and staff of Rivigo Construction Company, in Port Harcourt. It was gathered that a combined team of security operatives from the State Police Command and Anti-kidnap Unit of the military, stormed the hideout of the hoodlums, following an intelligence reports.
The kidnappers, it was gathered, opened fire on the team on sighting them, a development that led to the gun duel. Six of the suspected kidnappers were gunned down instantly, while eight others, who were among 10 that sustained bullet wounds, died as they were being rushed to hospital. Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Mr. Benjamin Ugwuegbulam (DSP), who confirmed the incident, said the gang leader, popularly known as “Bishop Nelly”, was among those killed.
He said the bandits were responsible for kidnapping, armed robbery, killing of policemen and civilians in Rivers State in recent times. The Command’s spokesman stated that six AK 47 rifles, 444 rounds of live ammunition, 17 magazines and charms were recovered from them. Other items recovered were two bags used in delivering ransom and N98,900, being part of the ransom of N20 million recently paid to them.