What was meant to ward-off suspected cultists has ended on a tragic note.

A police officer in Yenagoa has been shot and killed by a fellow policeman during a gun duel with suspected cultists.

An eyewitness who preferred anonymity, says the incident, which occurred on Christmas day at Obele Area of Ovom in Yenagoa, has left residents in apprehension.

The source says trouble started when a misunderstanding among the feasting cultists degenerated to a fight within the cult group, resulting to gunshots which eventually attracted a police patrol team to the area.

The Police Command Spokesman, Asinim Butswat, who confirm the incident, said the killing was shocking.

"Yes, the incident was between cultists but as the police went to find out what was going on, the cultists started shooting and one of the policemen mistakenly shot an officer.

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"Though, we are yet to get the full details because some of our men, who were at the scene, are supposed to brief us over the matter.

"Nevertheless, the Police are intensifying efforts to ensure a crime-free environment for people in Bayelsa this period of Christmas celebration; we deployed over 4,000 personnel for patrol.

“We adopted some strategies like ‘Cordon and Search’. I must tell you, our men and women are fully on operations to safeguard lives and property,” Butswat said.

The spokesman for the police urged the residents to continue with their lawful endeavours and support the police by providing timely and credible information on criminal activities.

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“I also urge them to continue to enjoy the Christmas celebration and steer clear of every criminal activity,” he said.

It appears this Christmas is a period of accidental discharge, as an armed robbery suspect had also on December 22, killed his fellow robber at a robbery operation around Azikoro village in Yenagoa and eventually turned himself in.