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Gunmen invade Anambra community, kill newly-wed bride

The 22-year-old deceased bride got married a week ago.

The gunmen are suspected to be sit-at-home enforcers [Andy Fisher]

The bride, who had her traditional marriage a week ago, was among those killed during the gunmen attack.

A family source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the victim, who was the only child of her parents, was waiting for her husband based overseas to return home before she was felled by the stray bullets of the assailants.

The assailants were said to have attacked Nnewi town in Nnewi North LGA and Nnobi in Idemili South LGA, killing a vigilante operative, while several other persons were injured.

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The situation created panic in both towns as traders and residents ran indoors while the assailants, suspected to be enforcers of the Monday sit-at-home shot sporadically into the air.

The source said, “Among those killed at Nnobi was a relative of mine. She was a newly traditionally married bride of one week old, who was waiting for her husband based abroad to return. She was 22 years old and the only child of her parents.

“It was a heartbreaking incident and a heavy blow on the family yesterday (Monday). Her mum sent her to their farm to bring vegetables for the preparation of their food. On her way back home, she was hit by stray bullets during the gunfire between security officials and those dare-devil criminals.

“The hoodlums invaded the Nnobi community in a black Landcruiser jeep, and opened fire on some vigilante operatives, leaving two of the security operatives seriously injured. It is a serious concern that more than 24 hours after, no arrest has been made. We don’t understand why Igbo land has become a land for shedding of blood with all impunity.

While reacting to the development in a statement, the Anambra State police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga said the police had ordered an immediate manhunt on the assailants based on the directive of the Commissioner of Police, Nnaghe Obono Itam.

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Ikenga assured the people that the police would get justice for the heroic act of the murdered vigilante operative and others who were killed in the attack.

He said, “The Commissioner of Police, CP Nnaghe Obono Itam, has ordered an immediate manhunt operation on the armed men operating in a red Highlander jeep, who abducted a citizen in Nnewi by 1:30 pm on Monday and were trailed to Nnobi, where they engaged security operatives in a gun battle. “During the gun duel, one of the security operatives was fatally hit by the bullet, and due to the indiscriminate shootings by the hoodlums in an attempt to escape the scene, the bullet also fatally struck two innocent passersby in the area.

“The Police Responding Team at the scene recovered the bodies of the victims and took them to the hospital but regrettably, three of the victims, including a 22-year-old lady were confirmed dead by the doctors on duty while two others are currently receiving treatment.

“The commissioner condemned the killing in the strongest possible terms and described the killers as cowards who have murdered sleep.”

Ikenga said the CP also condoled with the families of the deceased and vowed to get justice for the heroic vigilante operatives and unsuspecting members at the scene.

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He also called on members of the public, especially the eyewitnesses to assist the police with information on the ongoing operation, adding that further development would be communicated.

Similarly, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Anambra State Vigilante Service, Nweke Nweke said the group had vowed to work round the clock alongside other security forces to apprehend all involved in the killing of its commander at Nnewi and make the perpetrators pay with their blood.

Nweke recalled that the deceased AVG officer, who he identified as Eloka Ubajekwe, otherwise known as "Tallest", was gruesomely murdered by the “children of the darkness who claimed they were enforcing a sit-at-home order” in the Nnewi area of the state on Monday.

He said, “The ugly incident happened when the Nnewi North Local Government Area sector of the AVG got wind that the gunmen were about to enter Nnewi through Nnobi in the Idemili South Local Government Area. He decided to confront them at the boundary between the two communities, unfortunately, the Commander, Eloka Ubajekwe, was the victim.”

The victim’s family, however, declined to comment on the incident, as they said they were still in trauma and shock the unexpected development had brought to them.

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