Soldiers in northeast Nigeria opened fire Wednesday on a police team taking a kidnapping suspect to headquarters, killing three officers and a civilian.
The officers, who were from the Intelligence Response Team, were returning with the suspect from a town along Ibi-Jalingo Road in Taraba state when Nigerian Army soldiers manning a security checkpoint shot at their car, a local television station reported.
Nigeria’s Punch newspaper reported that the soldiers subsequently released the suspect, who is now on the run. A full investigation into the incident is being conducted.
The suspect is reportedly on a police wanted list for his involvement in a number of high-profile kidnapping cases.
Five other civilians who got caught up in the shooting were also injured.
Nigerian Army spokesman Col. Sagir Musa confirmed the incident and admitted that the soldiers killed the three officers "in error".
"This incident is indeed quite unfortunate and could have been avoided," he said.
He said the police vehicle had failed to stop at the checkpoint, forcing the soldiers to fire at it.
There are dozens of such military checkpoints in the volatile northeast region following a decade of violence carried out by the Boko Haram terror group.
Some soldiers have opened fire on their colleagues while escorting electricity workers in neighboring Maiduguri, mistaking them for members of Boko Haram.
Maiduguri, the capital and largest city of Borno State, was the heartland of the Boko Haram insurgency in mid-2017.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.