Police and Touts Clash In Nigeria, One Killed

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- At least one person was reported killed Tuesday in a clash between armed policemen and touts at the volatile Mile 2 bus stop in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial city.
Eyewitnesses told PANA the clash occurred when the police, apparently under orders to dislodge the touts, swooped in on the bus stop, sending people scampering in all directions.
But the touts, who have clashed incessantly with commercial vehicle drivers over extortion of money from the latter, put up a stiff resistance.
"As I am talking to you now, one of the touts is lying dead on the ground," Buki Ponle, whose car was stuck in traffic around the bus stop, told PANA on telephone.
"Armed mobile policemen are deployed everywhere.
" The police could not be immediately reached for comment.
Deadly clashes between miscreants (known locally as area boys) masquerading as touts and commercial drivers have become a regular occurrence in the sprawling Lagos metropolis.
The touts position themselves at strategic bus stops across the city, extorting money from every commercial bus driver and motorcycle operator in the name of one phoney association or another.
Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu has vowed to outlaw the touts, many of whom are armed.

15 october 2002 11:21:00

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