Customs officials on Monday allegedly shot dead a suspected smuggler, Abubakar Abba, on the Katsina-Jibia Road, eyewitnesses and the police said.
The witnesses said the suspect was killed by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service Command in Katsina State for allegedly smuggling 35 bags of rice into the state from Niger Republic.
They told journalists that the Customs officials in a patrol vehicle gave the suspect a chase, shot him in the chest and he died on the spot.
The development led some youths in the area to mobilise and threaten to burn the state office of the Customs Command but the police foiled the attempt.
According to a reporter who visited the Customs command headquarters office, the building was guarded by heavily armed Customs personnel.
A Customs officer, who pleaded anonymity, said that intelligence report showed that the youths planned to attack the command following the incident.
"The deceased was said to have engaged one of our officers in physical fight and in the process a bullet hit him,’’ the officer claimed.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Aminu Sadiq, confirmed the incident, saying the deceased was a smuggler and was shot dead by Customs personnel.
Sadiq said normalcy had been restored in the town, while the police were still investigating the matter.