Five policemen and eight civilians were yesterday shot dead by armed robbers that attacked a bullion van at Ubulu-Okiti, along Benin-Onitsha Expressway.
The robbers, numbering about 20 and wielding AK45 riffles, succeeded in carting away large sums of money after breaking into the save compartment of the bullion van.
The robbers who were dressed mostly in red attire and face cap and operated in a Siena bus and a Prado jeep were said to have been trailing the bullion van from Benin to Agbor before intercepting the bullion van at Ubulu-Okiti, in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State.
THISDAY gathered that the trigger happy men who shot sporadically with their sophisticated weapons, killed five policemen on the spot, who were escorting the bullion van, while eight other civilians who were travelling along that direction were also killed.
The robbery operation, according to an eyewitness account, lasted between 1:45p.m. 2p.m., as unsuspecting travellers and passersby were forced to scamper for safety for fear of been hit by stray bullet.
It was also gathered that several cars somersaulted while others ran into the bush in an attempt to escape from the rampaging robbers.
The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer , DSP Celestina Kalu, while confirming the incident to journalists, said the bullion van conveyed money from the bank in Agbor to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Asaba when it was attacked by the robbers.
Kalu said some policemen on the escort team were wounded during a gun dwell with the robbers, adding that the robbers succeeded in carding away some money during the operation.
She said the police was on the trail of the flying robbers as investigation into the incident had since commenced.