The Nigerian police on Wednesday lost three of its members after soldiers opened fire on them.
The police announced the killing of the three officers and severe injuries on other personnel.
The ugly incident happened along Ibi-Jalingo Road, Taraba State, police said. The officers were of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Felix Adolije, an assistant police superintendent, led the officers to the state to arrest a suspected kidnap kingpin whom the police identified as ‘Alhaji Hamisu.’
The police officers “came under sudden attack and serious shooting by soldiers of the Nigerian Army,” police spokesperson, Frank Mba, said in a statement.
The officers were taking Mr Hamisu to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo when the soldiers opened fire on them “despite sufficient proof that they are police personnel on legitimate duty,” the police said.
A civilian was also killed alongside the inspector and two sergeants by the soldiers, while an undisclosed number of others sustained injuries.
“The soldiers thereafter released the handcuffed suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, who is now on the run,” the police said.
The police identified Mr Hamisu as a notorious kidnap kingpin who has been on the police wanted list for his alleged complicity in several high-profile kidnap cases, including the recent abduction of an oil dealer in Taraba State.
The oil dealer, who was not named in the police statement, paid N1 million to regain his freedom, police said.
An assistant inspector-general has been sent to the state to coordinate treatment of the injured police officers. The remains of the deceased have been deposited in the morgue.
Inspector-General Muhammad Adama has ordered an urgent investigation into “the bizarre and unfortunate incident,” Mr Mba, a deputy police commissioner, added in the statement.