From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
No fewer than 11 people are feared dead in Aba, Abia State, in a fierce gunfight between soldiers and hoodlums.
This is coming barely a few weeks after armed hoodlums attacked and killed policemen in nearby Abayi (World Bank Estate) police station and 48 hours after three policemen were ambushed and murdered by hoodlums in Abiriba, Ohafia Local Government Area of the state.
In the latest attack, the armed hoodlums, numbering about 50, are said to have, at about 8.30 pm on Tuesday, stormed the popular Ariaria junction on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, ostensibly to attack soldiers manning the area.
Available information has it that before the gunmen arrived at the scene, soldiers on duty had received intelligence and laid in wait for them.
It was learned that as soon as the hoodlums arrived, they opened fire, with the soldiers returning fire.
In the ensuing gunfight that lasted for over 30 minutes, 11 people were reportedly found dead.
There were conflicting reports about the number of causalities; with figures as high as 16, among them a soldier, and the reported figure of 11, according to a military source, who said all the casualties were hoodlums, with no military losses.