Residents of Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State have been gripped by panic following an attack on the community and neighbouring towns of Igbo ora, Tapa, and Ayete.
Eyewitnesses said they did not know the number of persons killed by the gunmen, but that one of the sources claimed that the Amotekun commander in the local government was killed.
While residents claim that the attack was carried out by armed herdsmen, the Nigeria Customs in a statement on Saturday said they were smugglers.
According to the Nigeria Customs, three officers and a soldier were injured during the attack carried out which was carried out on Friday night.
Customs spokesperson, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Theophilus Duniya in a statement on Saturday said smugglers attacked after they were sighted by customs officers in eight trucks conveying contraband items.
“The injured Customs Officers who are operatives of the Zone A, Federal Operations Unit, sighted eight trucks carrying smuggled foreign parboiled rice whose drivers and armed accompanying passengers launched an attack on the officers.
“One of the attackers was shot and disarmed while the others retreated with their smuggled wares,” the statement read in part.
The attackers were however repelled by the joint efforts of local vigilante groups.
The statement added that an investigation has been launched to arrest and prosecute the attackers and the attacked customs officers and a soldier, including one that was shot in the head, are receiving treatment.
Acting Controller of the Unit, DC Usman Yahaya, condemned the attack and reiterated the resolve of the service to suppress smuggling.
The Unit, according to the Acting Controller, will never relent or be intimidated by attacks carried out by criminal elements unlawfully bearing arms and unleashing same on officers on legitimate duties.
Igangan has been under the spotlight for more than five years with clashes erupting intermittently between farmers and herders.
At least 11 people were killed after gunmen attacked the community earlier in June.
Some of the assailants were killed with houses and vehicles burnt during the attack.