From Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba
Five suspected bandits lost their lives, Tuesday night, in an attempted attack on security operatives in a military checkpoint in Aba, Abia State.
The hoodlums were alleged to have come in a seven-seater mini bus, and attempted a surprise attack on soldiers at the Ariaria Junction checkpoint, along the Aba end of the Enugu/Port Harcourt expressway, but got demobilised when security operatives on duty became aware and opened fire on them.
Daily Sun learnt that some of the hoodlums escaped with bullet wounds, making the military men to cordon off the area, to ensure the safety of innocent persons using the roads, while a search for the escapees continued.
A commercial tricycle operator, John Udeh, told Daily Sun that he was hit in the hand three times, with a club by one of the security operatives and asked to leave, while dropping passengers in the area.
Udeh, who claimed the hand had been fractured, said other transporters passing through the area, including buses that usually load at the junction, were not allowed to do so.
A female petty trader, Mrs. Rose Onungwa, said market men and women passing through the Ariaria Junction were being subjected to raising their hands high up, with those in motor vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles asked to alight and walk through on foot with their hands raised.
Abia Police Public Relations Officer, Ogbonna Geoffrey, could not be reached as his phone was switched off when contacted on the issue.