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Imo Killings: Soldiers Demolish Buildings, Villagers Flee

Residents of Oriendu in Umualumaku Umueze, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, are living in fear following an alleged invasion and property destruction by suspected soldiers. This incident occurred a day after unidentified gunmen killed and set ablaze some soldiers, policemen, and personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in two patrol vehicles in the same community.

A video circulating online shows extensive property damage within the community, with the narrator suggesting that the destruction was carried out by armed officials. Residents are reportedly fearful for their lives and lament the burning of houses.

In the video, numerous shops, buildings, properties, food stalls, and bars are seen allegedly destroyed by the soldiers who sought justice for their slain colleagues. The community appeared deserted, with only a handful of residents visible, some of whose properties were destroyed.

The narrator in the video called on Nigerians to acknowledge the unjust treatment endured by the community and questioned why innocent individuals were suffering for a crime they had no involvement in.

A resident of Ehime Mbano, who sells building materials in the area, criticized the destruction of property belonging to innocent people who had no connection to the incident. The resident expressed concern about the heavy presence of soldiers in the vicinity.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has denied any involvement in the attack or property destruction in Ehime Mbano. The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations Officer, 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Joseph Akubo, stated that he was unaware of such incidents. He suggested contacting the Police Public Relations Officer for information on the matter.

In response to the tragic loss of security personnel in Imo State, the acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, expressed the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to collaborate with other agencies to uncover those responsible for the killings. He extended condolences to the families of the deceased officers and urged anyone with relevant information to come forward to aid the investigation.

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma and the governorship candidate of the Labour Party for the November 11 governorship election in the state, Athan Achonu, both condemned the killings. Governor Uzodimma assured the public that those responsible for the killings would be apprehended, while Achonu called on the state government to prioritize security in the area.

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