•Policeman shot, police station razed
From ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina
Heavily armed gunmen numbering about 30 who held Katsina suburb of Rimi hostage for about an hour, on Wednesday evening kidnapped a French national, killed two Nigerians and shot a mobile policeman before destroying the police station in the community with explosives.
The tragedy reportedly occurred by 9.30p.m. The suspected bandits allegedly came in no fewer than three vehicles struck Rimi in three formations in a Rambo-styled operation, Daily Sun learnt.
The kidnapped expatriate, identified as Francis Colunp, aged 60, was said to have returned recently from France to resume work with S.A. Vergnet, the firm handling Federal Government-owned 10 mega watt solar power plant, which had reached an advanced stage of completion at Rimi.
The policeman shot during the tragedy was also feared dead, but the Commissioner of Police in Katsina, Abdullahi Magaji, who confirmed the death of two persons outside the residence of the expatriate, however said the cop survived the attack and had been rushed to an undisclosed hospital. According to dependable sources, the bandits set the Divisional Police Station in the town ablaze with explosives.
The policemen on duty scampered for safety after several gunshots from the hoodlums. It was also learnt that the third formation of the gunmen kept the town under surveillance to ensure an unhindered operation, but they neither removed anything from the affected house nor anywhere in the town, thus fueling speculations about their motives.
The police boss, confirmed at Rimi yesterday morning that no arrest had been made, said one AK 47 rifle believed to be one of the sophisticated arms used by the bandits was recovered. The slain victims of the tragedy Abubakar Salele and Rabe Dan’Unguwar- were buried yesterday at Rimi after a funeral prayer attended by the Chairman of Rimi Local Government Transition Committee, Nasiru Ala Yatawa, and the member representing the constituency in the State House of Assembly, Bilyaminu Mohammed Rimi.