A woman and her two-year-old child were among the four persons killed by armed robbers who operated at the 4th avenue area of FESTAC town, Lagos on Tuesday.
The robbers numbering about 40 dressed in military uniforms and operated in the area unchallenged for two hours before escaping through the waterway.
They broke into the branches of Access and Diamond banks in the area, carting away large sums of money.
But the police said they were able to recover N25 million and some weapons from the robbers.
Frank Mba, area commander of Area E, Festac division, told journalists that he dispatched his men to the scene of the incident immediately after receiving a distress call.
“On arrival at the scene, the policemen engaged a gang of armed robbers numbering well over 40 all dressed in military camouflage and armed to the teeth.
“The police engaged them in a fierce gun battle that lasted several minutes notwithstanding the clear numerical disadvantage of the police at the beginning of this operation.
“The hot exchange of fire between the policemen and the robbers who incidentally had shared themselves into two groups by simultaneously robbing two banks forced the robbers to abruptly end their operation.
“They consequently abandoned the operation and they were also forced to abandon the sum of N27m but as they were fleeing they were equally forced to abandon a total of 240 life AK-47 life ammunition.
“The money was later recovered by the police and escorted to another branch of Diamond Bank located somewhere along 2nd Avenue where the money was deposited.
“The scene of crime was later cordoned off while support teams from the command headquarters, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Ikeja, and also the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Panti, as well as men of the Nigerian Army from Ojo Cantonment joined us.”
This is the third time in 2015 that robbers would attack banks located in residential areas and escape through waterways.
In May, a branch of First City Monument Bank was attacked in Lekki and five persons, including two policemen were killed, while in June First Bank and Zenith Bank were attacked in Ikorodu.