An army Captain, identified as Muhammed, four policemen, and a civilian lost their lives on Sunday after suspected militants attacked Ishawo, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.
It was learnt that panic-stricken residents fled their homes in the wake of the killings.
A combined team of the police and military had been deployed in the area in a bid to apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.
It was said that the militants had first attacked a funeral in Makun-Omi, Ogun State, on Saturday, disrupting the burial of a monarch.
A police source told Punch that the Captain and the policemen had responded to a distress call after the militants kidnapped some residents on Woodland Estate, close to the Ishawo creeks.
He explained that the operatives, after rescuing the victims, were leaving the area when they were ambushed by the militants.
He said, “The incident happened on Sunday. The security agents were called and they were able to rescue the victims. As they were leaving the place, the militants surfaced from a hideout and shot them dead.
“After that, the gunmen burnt their patrol vehicle. The policemen were from the anti-kidnapping unit of the Lagos State Police Command.”
A resident, who pleaded anonimity, explained that the militants attacked the community in reprisal for the killing of one of their members in Opeoluwa community.
The resident, a lady, said that the militants killed and set ablaze a resident, said to be an informant of the police. She said the police were called after the gunmen kidnapped some other residents.
“The militants came in through the waterways. They headed straight for the home of the man, brought him out and shot him dead. They also burnt his corpse.
“The policemen and the soldiers went to rescue the villagers. The militants engaged them in a gun battle. They overpowered and killed five of the operatives. The OP MESA later deployed a troop in the scene. The militants fled when they saw they could not overpower the troop,” she added.
The resident explained that people had fled their homes, adding that apart from the informant, some other civilians were killed by the militants.
“A lot of people were killed. I don’t have the number. It was terrible. People are scared. While I was going to church this morning, I saw a lot of people running out with their loads,” she said.
Another resident, who also insisted the killings were a reprisal, said the militants were plotting to resume their oil bunkering activities.
“Those people are heartless and wicked. They are eager to start the bunkering business again.”