A least six persons lost their lives in Ido Ani in the Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State on Monday when a gang of armed robbers attacked the First Bank branch in the town.
According to a police source, the deceased included a police inspector; the Vice Principal of the Ido Ani Grammar School, Mr David Oluloro; and employees of the bank.
The source said the robbers gained entry into the bank around 2.30pm by blowing off the door with a substance suspected to be dynamite and asked the workers to open the Automated Teller Machines and stole unspecified amount of money from the machines.
It was also learnt that social and business activities in the town were paralysed for several hours as human and vehicular movements came to a halt while the robbery was going on.
Residents of the town were said to have ran in different directions to avoid being hit by stray bullets.
The source said having received information about the robbery, a combined team of policemen and soldiers stormed the scene and engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel.
He added that some of the robbers escaped with gunshot injuries.
“The attack claimed the lives of some bank workers and customers at the ATM point, while others were injured. The injured persons have been taken to hospital,” the source stated.
An eyewitness, who pleaded not to be named, said some of the victims met their untimely death at the ATM point from the explosives used by the robbers to gain access into the banking hall.
“Two bank workers have been confirmed dead already. Others, who were injured, were rushed to hospital. Four people using the ATM were killed,” the eyewitness said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Mr Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident and said one suspect had been arrested.
He, however, stated that the bandits did not cart away huge sums of money but that they stole the small amount inside the ATM.
“We have been able to arrest one person and we, in company with the soldiers are already on the trail of the robbers and we will get them,” Joseph added.