Five persons from the same family were killed when gunmen invaded Umuebele-Okporo, a community in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria’s South-east.
The incident happened on Thursday.
The council area has witnessed several gunmen attacks in recent times.
In the latest attack, the gunmen, suspected to be members of Ebubeagu security operative, attacked five family members who were holding a meeting in their house in the community.
Sources said the Ebubeagu security operatives were targeting members of the Eastern Security Network, the militant wing of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
A video clip which captured the killing is being circulated on various WhatsApp groups.
In the clip, five persons – all male – are shown in a pool of blood.
The two of them appeared dead, while two were in critical condition, with blood gushing out of their bodies. One victim was seated on the pavement with blood-stained clothes, shaking in pain.
An old woman seen crying in the video asked other sympathisers to go get motorcyclists to take the victims to the hospital.
“We will not be able to enter motorcycles in this condition,” one of the victims, who was rolling on the ground, said.
The police spokesperson in Imo State, Michael Abattam, confirmed the attack in a statement on Sunday.
He said although five persons were shot by the gunmen, only three persons died while the remaining two sustained injuries in the attack.
Mr Abattam said the gunmen stormed the area in a red Toyota Sienna vehicle with no registration number and zoomed off after shooting their victims.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that they (the victims) were having a meeting in front of their compound when suddenly some yet-to-be-identified gunmen stormed the venue, shot at them severally, and zoomed off almost immediately,” he said.
“Consequently, three persons died on the spot while two others sustained various degrees of bullet wounds and were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment,” Mr Abbatam added.
The spokesperson said the police were investigating the attack and have also intensified patrol in the area.
He said the police were collaborating with other security agencies in the state to track down the suspects and ensure they face the “full weight of the law.”
Security in the South-east has worsened lately with frequent attacks by armed persons.
Anambra and Imo States have witnessed some of the worst attacks in the region.
The attacks, which often target security agencies, government officials and facilities, have been blamed on IPOB. But the group has repeatedly denied their involvement in the attacks.
The separatist group is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra to be carved out from the South-east and some parts of South-south Nigeria.
The leader of the secessionist group, Nnamdi Kanu, is detained in Abuja where he is facing trial for terrorism.
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