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Many die, shops looted, others injured as hoodlums set Anambra community on fire

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

At least one person was gunned down at Awgbu, an agrarian community in Orumba North Local Government Area, Anambra State, as hoodlums invaded and set the popular Eke Awgbu market on fire.

Blueprint learnt that the attack which happened around 6pm on Thursday, also left goods worth millions of Naira, including motorcycles and cars burnt even as some residents and passersby sustained degrees of injuries.

An eyewitness, who simply identified herself as Ms Ifeyinwa, said she was at the market when the hoodlums inteuded, shot at air before pouring a liquid substance suspected to be petrol round and lit it with fire.

The source added that the hoodlums equally killed two local vigilante providing security at the market before vanishing from the scene.

However, a viral video showed that one security man with locally made gun was killed during the unrest even as the missions and destinations of the hoodlums remain unknown.

But a community leader, who pleaded for anonymity, told Blueprint that they suspected cult groups or men on revenge mission from undisclosed neighbouring communities.

According to the community leader, "Two persons from neighbouring communities were killed in jungle justice at Awgbu on Wednesday. Two of the deceased were simply identified as Akusinachi and Tunis. They were killed by angry mob on Wednesday. I am not too sure why they were murdered. 

"But I heard people saying they stole from another community close to Awgbu but were caught in Awgbu when their motorcycle was knocked down at the community while trying to escape. Angry mobs burnt them alive immediately. So, we are suspeting that those who attacked Awgbu might have connections to the deceased because they died on Wednesday, while they attacked us on Thursday."

Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Anambra State Police command, Mr Ikenga Tochukwu, disclosed that one person died in the attack while the force had restored normalcy.

Ikenga, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), averred "following information on sporadic gunshot sounds and fire incidents in the Awgbu community, Orumba North, the joint security force has been deployed to restore law and order. 

"Preliminary assessments by the Operatives show that about twenty (20) shops were affected by the burning fire while three persons who sustained gunshot injuries were immediately rushed to the hospital and one of the victims was later confirmed dead by the doctor. The situation is being monitored and efforts are already in emplace to arrest the perpetrators, further details shall be communicated, please."

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