16 killed as gunmen blow up bank and attack police in Nigeria

Officers walk outside a police headquarters in northern Nigeria.

Story highlights

  • Nine police officers and seven residents killed in coordinated attack, police say

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Armed robbers in central Nigeria used dynamite to blow up a vault in a bank, killing 16 people, a police spokesman told CNN

More than 20 bank robbers were involved in the robbery Thursday in the remote town of Offa, Kwara State, the police told CNN.
    The men, armed with assault rifles, attacked three banks and fired at a police station.
    "They attacked the police station first and killed nine police officers," Ajayi Okasanmi, spokesman Kwara State Police told CNN.
    Seven people hit by stray bullets were killed in the operation that lasted for an hour, he said, adding that the robbers escaped.
    "They shot sporadically while they were trying to enter two banks in the area. We could not engage with them instantly to avoid injuring more civilians in the attack," he said.
    They broke into two banks but were unable get into other banks in the commercial area of the town, Okesanmi added.
    Residents told CNN the armed robbers who came in five vehicles shot at traders, injuring many while they escaped.
    Nigeria's Senate leader Bukola Saraki condemned the attack Friday on Facebook saying government remained relentless until the robbers were made to face the "full wrath of the law".