Two persons were reportedly hit by stray bullets during a clash between men of the Nigerian Customs and petrol smugglers at the Seme border in Lagos State.
NAN reports that the victims, Hunsu Taiwo, 12, and Ganjo Henry, 10, were playing in a Sokenu Compound of Seme when they were hit by the stray bullets on Friday.
However, the injured victims survived after receiving treatment at the Customs clinic at the border.
The Customs Spokesman in Seme, Hussaini Abdullahi, while confirming the unfortunate incident said the two boys were hit by stray bullets at the back and the ankle.
Abdullahi said that the incident happened during a confrontation with smugglers who were trying to smuggle petrol to the neighboring Benin Republic.
”On Friday, July 3, at about 5pm, a joint patrol team of command, based on credible intelligence went on an operation along the 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 items 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 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 back and ankle,” he said.
He further explained the boys were rushed to Customs clinic for proper medical intervention and fortunately the result came out with no major damages.
“This gave room for prompt treatment of the patients at Customs facility and were consequently discharged strictly based on medical advice.
“On this note, the command wishes 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 added.
He also said that smugglers would always meet their waterloo with no breathing space in Seme command.