10 Dead, Scores Missing, Houses Razed As Soldiers, Youths Clash

Barely 24 hours after soldiers and youths clashed in Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State which left many dead, no fewer than 10 persons have again, been reported killed and many houses burnt as soldiers from 14 Brigade, Nigeria Army, invaded Amangwu community in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State in search of their missing colleague.

Consequently, over 1,000 residents of communities in Ohafia clan are now living in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps, following continued attack by soldiers.


Also yesterday, gunmen allegedly attacked a popular police checkpoint located along the Onitsha-Owerri road in Ihiala, Anambra State.

Similarly, a soldier, identified as Saeed Sabo, of the 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, is now cooling off in police cell for allegedly stabbing a middle-aged man to death in Umuahia.

10 killed, scores missing

Following the military raid of Amangwu community, scores of locals were also reportedly arrested and are yet to be sighted.

The community has been reportedly deserted as locals fled to different locations, abandoning their homes just to stay out of trouble.

Vanguard gathered that the invasion was in the aftermath of an alleged abduction of a yet-to-be-identified soldier, said to be ” on pass in the area”.

The soldier, according to reports, was said to be on leave, and visited his village in nearby Ikwun in Cross Rivers State but got missing at the border between Amuma Ohafia and Amangwu.

It was learned that troops from 14 Brigade were deployed for a rescue operation on the missing soldier.

The soldiers allegedly burnt over 50 houses in the community, while 10 persons were killed, with many others missing.

Sources told Vanguard that the soldiers had also invaded Okon and Amuma with heavy shooting and broke into houses to arrest some youths.

His words: “The problem was with our neighbouring community, Amangwu, but the Army invaded Okon yesterday and burnt 5 houses. They were shooting everywhere. Some of them were using drones to take pictures of the community.

”They returned by 2 am today and burnt another house. They broke into houses and dragged youths into their vehicles. Any youth arrested is tagged a member of IPOB.

”The youths arrested are yet to be seen since their arrest. People are fleeing their homes to the IDP camps. We are now IDPs in our place. We are afraid they may storm the IDP camp in search of youths.”

A resident of Amangwu who spoke on the condition of anonymity, alleged that the number of youths killed in the community was above 20, contrary to the 10 reported by the media.

He said: “What soldiers are doing in Amangwu community amounts to ethnic cleansing. If any youth has committed an offence, the soldiers should arrest him, not burn houses and kill people.

”Everybody arrested is tagged a member of IPOB. Many youths have been killed. Even families who fled Amangwu have been searching for their loved ones. Those whose houses were burnt couldn’t save anything because the soldiers came in the early morning when the residents were still sleeping.

”Some people were lucky to escape through the bush path because the Army blocked the area searching for people. Amangwu is now a ghost town.”

Efforts to contact the Army Public Relations Officer, 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Lt. Innocent Omale, were unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls and a text message was sent to his mobile number unreplied.

However, a top military source in the Brigade told Vanguard that soldiers were currently on operation in Ohafia, fighting the rising insecurity in the area, but denied burning houses and killing innocent people.

The source, who pleaded not to be quoted, confirmed that there was a military operation in the community in search of the missing soldier, and against criminal elements who had allegedly taken over the area.

The source denied the killing of locals and destruction of houses, explaining that only shrines used by criminals were destroyed.

Said the source: “There is an ongoing operation in search of a missing soldier in Amangwu general area. Only shrines belonging to the criminals in the enclaves were affected.

”The Nigerian Army is a professional Army that respects law-abiding citizens and fishes out those with criminal intent disrupting the peace-loving people of Ohafia and its environs.

“We must fish out the criminals in our immediate society for peace to reign.”

On the justification for the alleged invasion, the source said: “But the criminals being executed in the criminal enclaves are irrelevant. Human skulls in different shrines? Mini Barracks in the bushes by these criminals? Missing innocent souls is (sic) of no concern? The Nigerian Army must fish out criminals in our society.”
Source – Vanguard

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