Gunmen kill police chief, seven others in central Nigeria

Gunmen in central Nigeria have killed eight people, including a divisional police chief, in the latest violence before the February 25 presidential and parliamentary elections, police and a security source said on Wednesday.

Insecurity is a big issue for voters in a country where armed gangs terrorise people in villages and on highways, and carry out kidnappings for ransom, especially in the north.

Police in Benue state respond­ed to a distress call after gunmen blocked the Markurdi-Naka road, forcing travellers to flee, State police spokesperson, Catherine Sewuese Anene, said.

The divisional police offi­cer for Naka town, Mamu­dAbubakar, led a team of officers that engaged the armed gang in a gunfight, Anene said in a statement.

“However, the DPO (divisional police officer) who led the team sustained gunshot injuries and was rushed to General Hos­pital, Naka, where he was eventually confirmed dead,” she said.

A police source said two other police officers were shot and killed during the fight with the armed gang.

When the gunmen retreated, they killed two children and three women in a nearby village, said the source, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media. —News agencies

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