A clash between police and navy officials has resulted in at least three deaths in Nigeria.

Officials from the Nigerian Navy allegedly stormed a police station in the town of Calabar, capital of Cross River state, on Tuesday night (30 May), shooting at policemen and burning down the station, witnesses told the Premium Times.

It is believed the incident was sparked following a road dispute between a police officer and a navy office earlier that day.

A witness claimed that some naval officers did not stop at a red traffic light near the Calabar Stadium.

"Police traffic officers intervened, but rather than listen, they descended on the policemen and beat them up. This was around 5pm," the unnamed source said.

"Police officers now called for back up and the Navy also called for reinforcement and they took over the road leading to the airport. But the Navy Commander and police commissioner in the state intervened and the two sides backed down."

The source added that in the evening "naval officers descended on Akim Police Station and started shooting and burnt down the facility. We confirmed three bodies but we feared there are more".

On 31 May, the Nigerian Police posted on its Facebook page some pictures reportedly showing the incident at the station.

A senior Nigerian police officer, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, confirmed the incident to the BBC.

On Tuesday evening, naval spokesperson Suleiman Dahun, told the Premium Times he was not aware of the incident.

The navy has not further commented on the issue. It has not responded to a request for comment sent via Twitter.

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