BY OBINNA OGBONNAYA, Abakaliki
There was panic and tension on Monday night in Amasiri and Afikpo communities as unknown gunmen attacked and killed two soldiers at a military checkpoint located at Timber Shed Junction in Afikpo North local government area of Ebonyi State.
It was also gathered that a private security guard attached to a gas station within the area was also shot dead by the gunmen.
LEADERSHIP gathered from a top security source in the State that the gunmen struck at about 9pm on Monday.
The source further revealed that the gunmen after the incident made away with the riffles of the two soldiers.
Another source in the community, who pleaded anonymity, said the gunmen arrived the checkpoint in a white bus and as the military men stopped the bus for a stop and search, the gunmen opened fire on them, killing two of them instantly.
The source added that the gunmen thereafter shot and killed the private security guard, who they might have suspected was armed.
“It was a terrible situation last night. The unfortunate incident disrupted both vehicular movement and business activities going on around the area. Amasiri and Afikpo communities were thrown into confusion as people scampered for safety.
“The natives especially petty traders hurriedly packed their goods and went home. It’s a very sad situation here. They said it was people suspected to be gunmen, who came to the checkpoint at Timber Shed (bordering Ehugbo and Amasiri) in white bus.
“As usual, it appeared the military men were checking them and all of a sudden, they opened fire on them. Two of the military men, a man and woman, died. Others ran away.
“The area is as quiet as the graveyard. These bordering villages used to be very busy and people here are farmers and traders.
“But the moment that happened, people started going home. Nobody is seen outside as I speak to you. Every place is calm. There is fear here now. My brother, the world is about to end,” the source said.
As at the time of filing this report, the Military was yet to react to the incident.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Garba Aliyu, could not be reached as he was not picking his calls and was yet to respond to several text messages sent to him for reaction to the attack.
Similaly, the Police spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah, also didn’t to respond to calls put across to her phone line.
The latest attack is coming barely 10 days after three policemen were shot dead by gunmen in the state.
Unknown gunmen suspected to be members of the proscribed IPOB have ramped up attacks on security men and formations in the Southeast and South-south regions recently.
There have been deadly attacks on the Military, Police and Customs in the past one week.
In one of such attacks, four soldiers were killed in an attack at a hotel in a Rivers community on Sunday.
Also, soldiers were said to be among eight security officials killed on Sunday by gunmen along the Omagwa/Isiokpo/Elele – Owerri Road in Rivers State.
In Imo State, gunmen suspected to be IPOB members attacked and set ablaze the country home of the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, in wee hours of Saturday.
Within the past one week, there have been deadly attacks on police facilities in Enugu and Anambra states.
Similarly, the Ebonyi State Federal High Court located close to the Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway was on Monday set ablaze by some hoodlums.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the Library section and the security post of the court was burnt down by hoodlums.
According to a source in the area, “We woke up late last night to observe that the Federal High Court was on fire. The youths had to mobilise to save the court from burning down completely.”