Residents flee Okene as security agents embark on house-to-house search

Eyewitnesses say bombs were targeted at worshippers

Human and vehicular movements were light in Okene, Kogi State, on Thursday as uneasy calm pervaded the town where 19 worshippers were killed at the Deeper Life Bible Church at the Eikha-Adagu area on Monday by gunmen.

The Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Mohammed Katsina, said on Wednesday that four persons had been arrested in connection with the killings.

Shops, banks, eateries and filling stations were closed as well as the Federal College of Education and the Kogi State Polytechnic.

Travellers, who normally would spend about 30 or more minutes to navigate the traffic in the town, spent only about five minutes on Thursday.

Soldiers and policemen mounted two checkpoints where they searched vehicles and their passengers.

They also conducted house-to-house searches for weapons allegedly stolen from two soldiers who were killed in a separate attack by gunmen on Tuesday.

Two civilians also died in the incident.

The action of the security agents caught residents unawares and some started leaving for the neighbouring towns in Edo, Ondo and Ekiti states.

The Kogi Police Public Relations Officer, Simon Ile, said that policemen were sent to Okene for what he called a “mop up” exercise.

He said the security agents would sustain the operation until all the culprits behind the killings are apprehended and the arms stolen from the dead soldiers recovered.


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