From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
No fewer than 11 persons were killed, on Monday, by gunmen suspected to be cultists in the Mgbuoshimini community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
But the state Police Command only confirmed 10 persons lost their lives in the incident, which occurred in the early hours. Among the victims of the shooting, were a couple, a nursing mother, women and young men. There names could not be ascertained at press time The killing occurred 72 hours after two persons were shot dead in the same community by armed men and the arrest of a suspect by policemen.
It was gathered that the gunmen invaded the waterfront in Agip area of Port Harcourt at about 4:00a.m. and opened fire on residents within the vicinity. The Daily Sun further gathered that the hoodlums came into the community through the waterfront and attacked an area vastly occupied by the peasants.
The residents, who were displaced and had no alternative of where to relocate to, had been using tables and mosquito nets to retain their spaces and living at the mercy of the criminals. An eyewitness, who gave his name as Nasiru Usman, said the bandits that carried out the operation, attacked mainly the persons who were affected by the recent demolition of shanties in the area.
Usman claimed that the killers were suspected cultists who came on a reprisal attack, after a rivasl cult group had killed two persons, last Thursday. He disclosed that after the incident, at about 6:30am, there was heavy mobilisation of police operatives with 20 security vans deployed in the area. When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident to Daily Sun in Port Harcourt.
Omoni, however, could not confirm the perpetrators of the dastardly act, but said that the Command had swung into action to tracked down the hoodlums behind the senseless killing. He disclosed that the Command had beefed up security in the affected place, in order to douse fear expressed by residents, for reprisal attack.