There was pandemonium on Thursday evening at the popular New Benin Market in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State as suspected armed robbers invaded the area and shot sporadically into the air.
The robbers had on arrival swooped on traders and market women and dispossessed them of cash and other valuables.
By the time the dust died down, three persons were gunned down in the process.
Several shops belonging to Igbo traders were robbed and looted in the ever busy commercial area.
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Most traders whose shops were located along Mission road area of the market were not spared even as market women and road side traders scampered for safety during the melee.
The heavily armed men who stormed the area in a commando style had opened fire to scare the people as they had a field day to operate in the area unchallenged.
However, some traders who braved the tensed situation in conjunction with the police gave the robbers a hot chase.
The fleeing robbers, sensing further danger opened fire on anybody on sight and killed two persons on the spot and wounding several others.
A middle aged girl who was also shot on the spot is said to be on a danger list as at undisclosed hospital as at the time of this report.
The hoodlums were said to have escaped through the New Lagos road end of New Benin.
Traders and motorists were said to have scampered for safety as the bandits shot sporadically as they flee.
When our reporter visited the market last night economic activities disappeared for several hours as traders and market women deserted the area.
Bodies of those who lost their lives in the area were spotted in the police van stationed near the market as they were being taken to the mortuary.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Chidi Nwabuzor could not be reached for comment on the incident as he refused to answer calls to his GSM phone.