Panic as military ‘invades’ Anambra community over killing of colleagues

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The invasion of Umunze, in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, has created fear in the community.
The invasion followed the killing on Wednesday of five soldiers and a civilian by yet-to-be identified gunmen.

A resident claimed that the soldiers ordered all the shops and the Umunze Market shut within two hours when they arrived in the village yesterday.
The resident said the presence of the uniformed military men triggered pandemonium as people ran helter-skelter seeking refuge.

There was no official confirmation of the claim.
Apart from the Nkwo Market and all the shops in that vicinity, all the schools in that area hurriedly closed as parents withdrew their children.

The roads, within a few minutes, were also deserted.

One of the community leaders, who did not want to be quoted, said that some of the people who were hit by stray bullets were rushed to the hospitals.

Nigerian Army
Nigerian Army

A source said: “Yesterday, there were some bullet wounds. In fact, one of them lost his life early this morning (Thursday).
“Those people (gunmen) breezed in from the direction towards Abia State, opened fire on the military men at the bank, shot all of them, entered their vehicle and zoomed off immediately.

“When the army arrived, they opened fire, shooting sporadically in the air. Some people sustained gunshot injuries.

“I don’t know the exact number but I saw about three: one girl, one boy and this boy that lost his life early this morning. The boy operates a barbing salon here.

“On their normal routine, they came down in their numbers, telling people to close their shops and they gave them two hours to do that. They shot bullets also. After some while, people deserted that area.”

On what the community did to alert relevant authorities, the source said: “We have made some calls to the DSS office and the DPO here.
“We have also called some top military officers and I think they are discussing with their colleagues to take it easy with our people.”

“All the schools around here were shut down. And there is no hope of reopening tomorrow. Because of their behaviour, people were so afraid.”

Police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), could not be reached as his phone was switched off

But a senior police officer in the state confirmed the invasion of the military to the area.

The source further said the State Command under the leadership of CP Echeng Echeng, had not rested since Wednesday after the ugly incident.

The source said the security operatives had been combing everywhere to fish out the perpetrators.

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