More details of how some unknown gunmen shot dead two soldiers on Monday night at a security checkpoint in Ebonyi State, Nigeria’s South-east, have emerged.
The army officials were on a stop-and-search duty at the checkpoint, in an area called Timber Junction, Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, when the gunmen inside a white bus opened fire at them, killing two of the soldiers.
A private security personnel attached to a nearby filling station was also shot dead, while several persons sustained injuries.
The gunmen were said to have carted away rifles belonging to the slain soldiers.
The attack threw the two busy towns of Amasiri and Afikpo into panic, as residents, especially petty traders hurriedly packed their goods and went home.
“The area is as quiet as the graveyard. These villages used to be very busy and people here are farmers and traders.
“But the moment that happened, people started going home. Nobody is seen outside as I speak to you. Every place is calm. There is fear here, the world is about to end,” a resident said.
The Nigerian Army was yet to comment on the killing as of the time of filing this report.
The police authorities in the state have refused to comment on the killing.
The attack is coming barely 10 days after three policemen were shot dead by gunmen in the state.
Security officials in Nigeria have been the target of deadly attacks by unknown gunmen in the country’s South-east and South-south regions.
In one of such attacks on Sunday, four soldiers attached to an oil company, Starling Global Ltd, were gunned down at a hotel in a community in Rivers State, Nigeria’s South-south.
Also, soldiers were said to be among eight security officials killed on Sunday by gunmen along the Omagwa/Isiokpo/Elele Owerri Road in Rivers State.
In Imo State, Nigeria’s South-east, gunmen suspected to be IPOB members attacked and set ablaze the country home of the state governor, Hope Uzodinma.
IPOB, a pro-Biafra group proscribed by the Nigerian government, has been accused of being behind the attacks on security agencies, but the group has denied the allegation.
There is concern by government officials, security experts, and ordinary Nigerians that the ongoing attacks on security agencies in the South-east and South-south, which appeared to be coordinated, is getting worse by the day, and has already worsened the security challenges in the two regions.
With Boko Haram insurgency raging in the North-east, and banditry, kidnapping, and the ongoing bloody conflict between herders and farmers in different parts of the country, Nigeria’s security agencies seem to be losing ground, while the country bleeds.
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