From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Again, blood flowed freely in Rivers State yesterday in Omoku, headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the state, as bandits shot dead 14 persons.
Daily Sun gathered that over 26 people were shot during the attack. While 14 persons died on the spot, 12 others were wounded and hospitalised in the city.
The number of casualties is expected to rise, as there are conflicting reports on the number of victims. Some sources said 14 died and another claimed they were 15. Yet another report has it that 16 persons lost their lives in the incident.
It was further gathered that the gunmen had attacked two different locations, Kirigani and Oboh axis of Aligwu community in Omoku, in a coordinated strike.
The killers, according to reports, opened fire on Christians returning from different churches at 12.20am after successfully crossing over to the New Year and killed the victims.
The Rivers State Police Command has described the incident as unfortunate, adding that the culprits would be fished out and prosecuted.
Police Public Relations Officer for the state, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said police were aware of the incident, but could not ascertain the number of casualties as at the time of filing this report.
Omoni said: “I can confirm the incident but, at the moment, we cannot confirm the conflicting number of casualties. The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations and other tactical heads have been mobilised there to restore peace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, has launched a manhunt for the bandits to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted. When the DCP and the teams there conclude, we will know the total number of people involved.”