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Unidentified gunmen kill 3 vigilance operatives in Imo



Unidentified gunmen, on Sunday night, opened fire on a patrol vehicle, killing three vigilance operatives and a passerby at Umuaka Community in Njaba Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo.

It was learnt that the incident occurred near the local Afor Umuaka Market and Hilltop Primary School at about 7:20p.m.

A community leader, who pleaded anonymity, described the attack as a “devastating ambush”.

The source told our reporter that the people of the community and neighbouring communities had been under siege by gunmen and kidnap suspects terrorising the area in recent times.

It further claimed that hoodlums recently set up criminal camps in the neighbouring Ezioha Communiry in Mbaitoli LGA from where they lunch attacks on residents of the area.

“The destruction of terror camps in Orsu LGA and other parts of the state forced them to move to Ezioha Community.

“Their unchallenged activities led to the abduction of no fewer than 10 persons within the last six weeks.

“No ransom demanded, no dead body found, yet all of them have been missing since then.

“What happened yesterday night was a continuation of their onslaught,” the source further said.

Confirming the tragic incident to NAN in Owerri on Monday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, ASP Henry Okoye, said three vigilance personnel and a female passerby, hit by stray bullet, died during the attack.

Okoye said that the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Aboki Danjuma, had deployed a Tactical Squad to hunt down the hoodlums responsible for the dastardly act.

“CP Aboki Danjuma expresses sadness over the unfortunate incident and vows to leave no stone unturned to ensure that the perpetrators were all arrested and brought to justice.

“He empathised with the families of the deceased victims and prayed for the repose of their souls,” the police spokesman said.

He called on the public, particularly the residents of Njaba, who may have any vital information on the hoodlums, to assist the command in its investigation.

Okoye urged the residents to volunteer information at any Police Station or via the command’s emergency lines 08034773600 or 08098880197.

Peter Okolie

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