Worshippers slain, abducted in renewed attacks on churches

By Paul Michael and Orowo Victoria

Terrorists have in Kaduna State attacked two churches, killing three worshippers. Many are missing. The gunmen invaded Saint Moses Catholic Church and Maranatha Baptist Church both in Kajuru Local Government Area. Some worshippers were injured while several others were abducted.

C o m m i s s i o n e r for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the attacks on the churches on Sunday. According to the commissioner, the terrorists stormed the communities on motorcycles attacking worshippers and locals at Ungwan Fada, Ungwan Turawa, and Ungwan Makama in Rubu general area of Kajuru LGA. Aruwan gave the identities of the worshippers killed in the attack, the victims include Peter Madaki (Ward head of Ungwan Fada), Elisha Ezekiel (Resident of Ungwan Fada), and Ali Zamani (Youth leader of Rubu).

He said two persons were injured in the attacks while an unspecified number of locals were kidnapped. The commissioner added that terrorists also looted shops and carted away valuables items from the villages.

Deputy Governor of the State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, condemned the attack and condoled with the families of the deceased. Meanwhile, Anambra Police Command has confirmed a clash of two criminal gangs in Ihiala LGA of the state that led to the killing of five suspects.

A viral video on social media had shown some riflewielding young men in a convoy of assorted cars, carrying some dead bodies. Reacting to the video, spokesperson to the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, said the two gangs clashed at a burial ceremony, while trying to collect levy from the family of the deceased, for the burial to hold.

Ikenga said: “We have reinforced Ihiala and its environs following a trending video of SUVs and Hilux vehicles carrying young men that were wielding arms to an unidentified location. “Information from eyewitnesses show that a violent clash ensued between two criminal gangs and further details confirmed the killing of one Innocent Obieke AKA Double Lion and three others.

“Double Lion has been on police wanted list and has featured in attacks on police formations, military locations and other government infrastructure. “Meanwhile, police patrol is ongoing in the area and the situation is being monitored.” Sources in Ihiala, however, said that the clash was between criminals known as unknown gunmen and members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

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One of the sources said, “It is true. The incident happened at Akwa village in Ihiala during a clash between IPOB and unknown gunmen. “The gunmen have a camp at a place called Oseakwa from where they have been terrorizing Ihiala, Okija, Uli and other neighbouring communities.

“For some time now, the gunmen have been disrupting burials and demanding to be settled before any ceremony is organized. They are also the group that has been kidnapping people and snatching cars. “On June 17, IPOB swooped on the gunmen in their camp and five people were killed during a shootout. IPOB operatives loaded the corpses in a Hilux van and paraded them around the villages.”

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