Unidentified gunmen have killed two soldiers and abducted an expatriate at a road construction site in Ukanafun council area of Akwa Ibom.
The incident was said to have occurred on Wednesday afternoon as the expatriate engineer working with Al Madal Construction Company was inspecting the construction of Ikot Ibritam, Inen Ekeffe and Odoro Ikot to Ukanafun road awarded by Akwa Ibom government.
An eyewitness, Mr Friday Idiok, told newsmen that the two soldiers were killed while escorting the expatriate on routine inspection of the road project along Idim Okpok mini bridge in Inen Ekeffe, the boundary village between Oruk Anam and Ukanafun local government area of the state.
Idiok said the gunmen whisked the expatriate engineer away after killing the two soldiers while residents deserted the area for fear of arrest by security operatives.
”There was sporadic shootings here and before you know what was happening, two soldiers were dead.
”The gunmen also escaped with the soldiers guns and took the expatriate to their hideout.
”Everybody here is in panic, we don’t know what the government would do in this matter,” he said.
Speaking on the incident, the clan head of Inen, Obong Johnson Johnny Obosi, said the community was at the burial of one of their sons when they heard gunshots.
”We were at the burial of one of our brothers, late Mr Udoimoh, when we were about to be entertained, we heard gun shots.
”The next report was that two soldiers attached to an expatriate working on the road construction project that links my community with Ukanafun have been killed and the expatriate abducted,” he said.
Obosi, who could not establish the nationality of the kidnapped expatriate, said soldiers from Ibagwa barracks arrived with an ambulance and carried the corpses of the dead soldiers to the morgue.
Confirming the incident on Thursday, the Police Public Relations Officer in Akwa Ibom, SP Odiko Macdon, said that the command was aware of the incident and working with other security agencies to arrest the perpetrators.
”We have received information about the unfortunate dastardly incident at the road project in Ikot Ibritam, Inen Ekeffe, leading to Ukanafun.
”We are working with our sister agencies to identify, arrest and prosecute those involved,” he said.
Macdon appealed to residents of the community to remain calm and go about their normal businesses and promised that security operatives would apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice. (NAN)