At least seven people have been feared dead after a gun duel between suspected pipeline vandals and the police in Arepo community, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State on Sunday.
The incident was said to have started after the pipeline vandals attacked the security formation guarding the pipeline area on Saturday evening.
Our correspondent learnt from a resident that at least three of the vandals died and some police men may have been killed after the exchange.
The resident said, “The fire started yesterday, but the gun battle may have begun around 3am on Sunday morning. The police and some boys within the creek had a fire exchange and some people died.
“I am aware that three of the vandals lost their lives and some policemen are still missing.”
A security operative told PUNCH Metro on the condition of anonymity that eight policemen were involved in the gun battle, but four were still missing.
“While four of them have returned to base, four others are still missing. But we want to be careful so as not to put their family members in panic because we have yet to ascertain their fate,” the source said.
When our correspondent visited the site of the incident, he observed a group of soldiers and policemen guarding the entrance to the site.
Our correspondent, who however gained some glimpse into the vast swampy region, saw a burgeoning fire around the pipeline tunnel, as thick smoke billowed through the sky.
As of 2pm, when our correspondent left the scene, the flames had yet to go down and could be noticed some distance away.
The spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency, South West, Ibrahim Farinloye, said supplies had been shut down to make the fire die down.