December 1, 2021

TrustTV

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Soldier shot as Army, ESN members clash in Abia

Gunmen suspected to be Members of Eastern Security Network ESN have bowed to the superior fire power of the Soldiers of 14 Brigade, Army Headquarters, Ohafia in Ohafia Local Government, Abia State.

According to a top security source in the State, the fierce exchange of gunfire between the gunmen and soldiers has caused an exodus of residents and indigenes of Elu, Amangwu, Ebem and Amaekpu, Ohafia LGA from their respective communities to neighbouring villages in order to avoid being caught up in the crossfire.

The source said “We learnt that some boys believed to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) came to the popular Ebem motor park and started shooting and later left.

“Soldiers from 14 Brigade Ohafia whose command headquarters is located in the area later came and went after them.

“We learnt that the unknown gunmen shot a soldier with a double barrel gun but not dead, he’s currently at Federal Medical Center Umuahia, currently receiving medical attention and since that time, there have been sporadic gunshots from all corners.

A civil servant from the area told our Correspondent that marriages billed to take place in the community at the weekend has been shifted.

“We have suffered all manner of intimidation from soldiers. Some of our kinsmen have relocated to Uzuakoli, Umuahia, Aba and anywhere they think that is safer for them. We are in the village but our right to movement is determined by soldiers.

“Marriages ceremonies billed to take place any time soon have been shifted indefinitely. We learnt that at Elu, soldiers went to the market and started pursuing people.

“A lot of houses have been burnt at Amangwu Ohafia community. They said that members of ESN were using the houses as their hideout; that I can’t validate. You need to call anyone from Amangwu to validate such claims. But what I can tell you right now is that Ohafia is on fire,” said the source.

An indigene of Amangwu Ohafia who spoke from his hideout confirmed the invasion of his community by soldiers of 14 Brigade, Ohafia with the claim that members of ESN that shot their personnel were hiding in Amangwu community.

The source who disclosed that they later started hearing heavy gunfire in their village in the early hours of Saturday confirmed the burning of people’s houses, arrest and indiscriminate harassment of indigenes of their community by the soldiers.

“I don’t know the actual number. Some persons were saying six soldiers were killed, others said four and some ESN members were killed in the heavy gunfire. But the truth is that the Amangwu community including Elu, Ebem and Amaepku are all on fire.

“While we were running away from our community just like other persons, we saw a detachment of soldiers heading towards Ohafia from Umuahia end. We don’t know the fate of our people in the village. Some of them, their phone numbers are not going. It is feared that they have been either arrested by soldiers or other security agents in the State.

the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna could not confirm the report.

According to Ogbonna, he was yet to be informed of such development in Ohafia LGA.