Two children were on Friday hit by stray bullets during a confrontation between men of the Nigeria Customs Service and petrol smugglers at the Seme border area of Lagos State.
The victims, Hunsu Taiwo, 12 and Ganjo Henry, 10, were said to be playing in the Sokenu Compound of Seme when they were hit by stray bullets during a violent clash between Customs and smugglers.
The injured children were, however, treated for gunshot injuries at the Customs clinic at Seme border.
Customs spokesman in Seme, Hussaini Abdullahi, who confirmed the incident, disclosed that the two boys were hit by stray bullets at the back and ankle.
According to Abdullahi, “On Friday, July 3, at about 5 pm, a joint patrol team of command, based on credible intelligence went on an operation along Seme Carpenter village and identified a hideout used by some unpatriotic elements to stockpile petrol for onward smuggling to Benin Republic.
“In an effort to evacuate the said item from the scene, some unscrupulous elements launched a vicious attack and aggressively advanced towards the scene of the seizure with assorted dangerous weapons with a desirous effort to set the place ablaze.
“Considering the volatility of the seized items and the fact that all efforts short of using force to halt the mob from advancing towards the scene proved abortive, officers were left with no option than to use their firearms in order to defend themselves and avoid the envisaged catastrophe.
“However, verifiable information later received indicated that two young innocent boys were injured by stray bullets at the back and ankle.”
He stated that the boys were rushed to Customs clinic for proper medical intervention.
“On this note, the command wish to register its unreserved displeasure with this unfortunate incident. As a responsible and responsive service, we are working round the clock to partner with the family by providing all the necessary support to cushion the effect of this tragedy,” he said.