As preparations for the Christmas celebration peaked in Okemesi-Ekiti, Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State, tragedy struck, as dare-devil armed robbers invaded the town, leaving two persons dead and several others severely injured.
The two persons, killed in the operation that lasted for an hour, on Christmas eve, were identified as Mathew and a private security guard attached to a bank.
The nine-man gang allegedly invaded an old-generation bank in the town at about 5.30 pm, shooting sporadically into the air.
Commercial activities in the ancient town came to a halt for about an hour while the operation lasted, as traders in markets and workers of public institutions scampered in different directions for safety.
The bandits were said to have held the bank staff and customers hostage and carted away money running into millions of Naira.
One of the victims, whose shop was located beside the bank, was shot in the head and died on the spot while the guard died while he was being rushed to hospital.
Ten other persons, who hid, were reported to have been hit by bullets and were receiving treatment in a teaching hospital in one of the neighbouring states.