From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
No fewer than 14 persons have been reportedly murdered in Sime community in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State, when gunmen invaded the area on Thursday night.
Saturday Sun gathered that unknown armed men invaded the community, shooting sporadically, leaving 14 residents dead and several others with bullet wounds.
A community source, who confirmed the incident, stated that the corpses had been retrieved and deposited in the morgue.
The source, who did not want to be named, said the incident has caused tension in the area, forcing the residents to flee to neighbouring communities for fear of reprisal attack.
Recall that last Saturday, a gateman attached to a politician in Sime and his uncle were killed by unknown gunmen.
In a related development, six persons have been allegedly kidnapped in a fishing settlement in Asaramatoru, in Andoni Local Government Area of the state.
Relating the incident, a community leader simply identified as Blessing, revealed that the abductors escaped in five speedboats with the victims.
According to the source, many of the natives who fled into bush, when the bandits struck, “have not returned home and feared missing or dead”.
At press time, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), has not confirmed the development to newsmen.
Meanwhile, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, House of Representatives, for Oyigbo, Eleme-Tai Federal Constituency in the 2015 elections, Dr. Jacobson Nbina, said the killings were politically motivated.
Nbina, who is a native of the affected community, alleged that PDP members were killed in the attack, adding that some others were missing.
He alleged: “My brothers and sisters please help to pray for Sime community. The worst has just happened to me again! I earlier informed you of last weekend’s invasion of my residence and the brutal killing of my security guard and my uncle with my driver escaping with bullet wounds at my gate!
“As I speak to you, over 20 PDP youths of my community Sime-Tai are brutally murdered and several others taken away alive as unknown gunmen invaded my community midnight of yesterday”.
The State Police Command has deployed personnel to the troubled community to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous act.
This was disclosed by the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), saying that it was cult related.
He however did not confirm the casualty figure.