Two children have been hit by stray bullets during a clash between customs officers and petrol smugglers at Seme border in Lagos.
The border links Nigeria with some neighbouring West African countries.
According to NAN, the two children were identified as 12-year-old Hunsu Taiwo and 10-year-old Ganjo Henry.
The boys were reportedly playing in Sokenu compound of Seme when they were hit by stray bullets on Friday.
Hussaini Abdullahi, customs spokesperson in Seme, confirmed the incident in a statement, saying the boys who were hit at the back and ankle, survived after receiving treatment at the customs clinic in the area.
“On Friday, July 3, at about 5p.m, a joint patrol team of command, based on credible intelligence went on an operation along Seme Carpenter village and identified a hideout used by some unpatriotic elements to stockpile petrol for onward smuggling to Benin Republic,” the statement read.
“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 in order 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 added that the customs is working with the family of the children to provide needed support and assistance.
“This gave room for prompt treatment of the patients at Customs facility and were consequently discharged strictly based on medical advice,” Abdullahi said.
“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.”
There have been reports of various smuggling activities at Seme border area.
In August 2019, the federal government shut the border in order to conduct a security exercise.