* Robbers blast open bank vault with dynamite, loot cash
* Four banks, two police stations attacked
* Latest in string of security lapses in past few days
ONITSHA, Nigeria, Nov 27 - Bank robbers armed
with assault rifles and high explosives attacked four banks and
two police stations in southern Nigeria, in a coordinated strike
that left seven people dead, police said on Tuesday.
It was the latest in a spate of security lapses in Nigeria
in the past two days, after a suicide bombing by suspected
Islamists inside a military barracks on Sunday and a jail break
in the capital Abuja in the early hours of Monday.
The attack took place late on Monday night in the remote
town of Auchi, in Edo state. The robbers opened fire and
detonated dynamite at several of the targets, police
commissioner for Eddo state Hurti Mohammed told Reuters by
They robbed the vault in Access Bank but were
unable to get money out of any of the other banks. Seven people,
including a bus driver, were killed in the ensuing gun battle
with police, he said, adding that the robbers had escaped.
"They shot sporadically and were able to gain access to the
vault of one of the banks ... carting away an unspecified amount
of cash," he said. "No policeman was killed."
The southern, Yoruba-dominated area where the attack took
place was hundreds of miles away from the northern areas where
Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram is violently challenging the
authority of the President Goodluck Jonathan's government.
But Boko Haram have made forays into the south, including in
Kogi state, which borders Edo to the north.
Mohammed rejected any link. Powerful, organised robbery and
kidnapping rings operate across southern Nigeria.
"There is no relation between this incident and what is
happening in the north," he said. "We suspect the attackers just
to be robbers."
(Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu; Additional reporting by
Isaac Abrak; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Jon Hemming)