In what look like a war zone for residents living within the main town of Ihiala community and its environs, unknown gunmen yesterday while enforcing the earlier declared ‘every Monday sit-at-home order’ by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, killed numbers of persons and some dead bodies were seen burnt to ashes at Ezego T-junction in the Ihiala local government area of Anambra state.
Residents said as early as 7 O’clock in the morning, they saw numbers of boys with guns patrolling almost all the streets in the Ihiala main town, looking for anyone who may flout the sit-at-home order.
Onlookers said the armed group attacked and killed a man who was walking along Ihiala-Orlu road by Total filling station at the T-junction of Onitsha-Owerri road.
The victim suspected to be a non Igbo person was seen this morning in a pool of blood lying lifeless.
Onlookers said the unknown gunmen confronted the man and asked the direction he was going to, and the man replied in a language suspected to be northerner.
At Ezego junction, two persons facing each other were seen burnt and almost roasting to ashes inside a Hilux van burnt alongside the dead bodies.
It could not be ascertained if the victims were security Operatives as indicated by residents.
But the residents said towards afternoon, when the unknown gunmen continued to patrol the Ihiala environs, group of Nigeria soldiers arrived with armoured tank among other sophisticated weapons.
Residents said the soldiers stationed at the Ihiala-Orlu T-junction along the Onitsha-Owerri road, blocked the entire road, shooting sporadically but the unknown gunmen moved backward and stationed close to Ihiala Micro Finance bank and blocked Orlu-Ihiala road, also shot sporadically waiting for the soldiers to advance.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that the gun battle that lasted several hours later shifted to Okija area in the Ihiala local government area of Anambra state where numbers of persons were said to be killed.
Sources close to police said it was four persons that were killed at Ezego junction and the dead bodies were members of unknown gunmen secessionist group.
According to the police source, as at 9 p.m yesterday, the police team were still around Ezego junction, that, the unknown gunmen who were inside the Hilux van engaged men of the Nigerian Army and while trying to escape through the Ezego road, soldiers inside armoured tank rammed into the fleeing Hilux vehicle, killing four suspected members of the armed secessionist group who were inside the vehicle.
The police source said the accidental attack was so severe that the military armed tank somersaulted and turned upside down.
“If you are in doubt, take a close look at the Onitsha-Owerri road, very close to the Ezego T-junction were the unknown gunmen were burning to ashes, you will see the impact of the armed tank accident, the destruction it caused to the road”, the police source said.
The police source could not ascertain if the soldiers inside the armoured tank survived the accident.
“Everywhere, from morning till night yesterday was full of gunshots up the way to Azia, Okija, Mbosi…”, the police source added.