L-R: A burnt bus at Nkwoogwu-Mbaise, Imo state; Aba road by Bende road tower, Umuahia on Monday. Photos: Chidiebube Okeoma and Sunday Nwakanma.
THE sit-at-home order handed down to the people of the South-East turned bloody on Monday as hoodlums wreaked havoc in Anambra and Imo states, killing four policemen and four other persons.
Gunmen, who went on a shooting spree in Anambra, attacked a police Area Command in Nnewi axis of the state.
The incident was said to have occurred few hours after a joint security patrol team allegedly killed two persons suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network/IPOB, who were enforcing the group’s sit-at-home directives in the area.
Gunmen attack Anambra Area Command, kill cops, cart away arms
A police officer, who pleaded not to be named, said, “Many policemen were wounded in the attack and were rushed to the hospital. I think four of our men lost their lives in the attack.
“What I’m telling you is unofficial report. The PPRO will brief soonest. It was terrible; these guys (hoodlums) came in seven vehicles.
“There were speculations that the hoodlums came for reprisal following the early morning killing of two persons by unidentified soldiers (joint patrol team) in Nnewi. I didn’t know about that incident until we were attacked at the Area Command this (Monday) afternoon.”
Another source confirmed that the gunmen came in seven vehicles and overpowered the police personnel on duty, carted away arms and ammunition.
He added, “The gunmen overpowered the police and carted away their arms. By the time reinforcement from the Navy came, the attackers had left, though they were pursued to no avail.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed the incident to our correspondent in a text message.
Still in Anambra, apart from the four cops that were said to have been killed by hoodlums, two persons were shot dead in Nnewi, while three buses were set ablaze in the area.
A Toyota Camry was seen abandoned on a street near the scene of the crime.
A source said the car was abandoned when the occupant saw that the hoodlums were advancing towards his direction.
“They were singing and shouting, ‘Today is sit-at-home. Anything sighted, even if it’s a fly must be destroyed’. There were gunshots around Izuchukwu Park junction around 6am.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed the incident, adding that police operatives had been deployed to the scene.
Travellers burnt as hoodlums raze five vehicles in Imo attack
Also, five vehicles; three Hummer buses belonging to Libra and Okey Transport companies, a Sienna, and a Highlander SUV were set ablaze along the Owerri-Umuahia Road, which was later deserted by motorists.
Scores of the occupants, who were travelling to Lagos and others returning to Imo State from Lagos, escaped with some carrying bullet injuries.
It was learnt that drivers of the commercial vehicles were seriously hit by the attackers.
The incident occurred along the Owerri-Umuahia Road, which was later deserted by motorists.
One of the charred remains of the victims was seen in one of the buses where two persons were suspected to have died.
An elderly man, Pa Johnson, whose house is opposite the scene, told The PUNCH that the incident happened around 4:30am.
The octogenarian disclosed that they were jolted by the deafening sound of intermittent gunshots.