Five gunmen were on Friday killed during a confrontation with members of the Indigenous People of Biafra at Ihiala, Anambra State.
An eyewitness said the IPOB operatives carried the bodies of the gunmen in a Hilux van and shot indiscriminately as they drove towards the Onitsha-Owerri expressway.
The eyewitness said, “The incident happened at Akwa village in Ihiala during a clash between IPOB and unknown gunmen.
“The gunmen have a camp at a place called Oseakwa from where they have been terrorising Ihiala, Okija, Uli and other neighbouring communities.
“For some time now, the gunmen have been disrupting burials and demanding to be settled before any ceremony is organised. They are also the group that has been kidnapping people and snatching cars.
“On June 17, IPOB swooped on the gunmen in their camp and five people were killed during the shootout. IPOB operatives loaded the corpses in a Hilux van and paraded them around the villages.”
Also on Friday, some people suspected to be members of Ebubeagu clashed with gunmen at Ihiala during a burial ceremony, although no live was lost.
According to the eyewitness, following the clash, the burial had to be cancelled and the corpse returned to the mortuary.
He said, “It was terrible. What happened was that one Ekene who is a businessman in Ihiala was burying his late brother and his in+laws from Imo State came with members of Ebubeagu to protect them, only to be confronted by people who said they are unknown gunmen in charge of Ihiala.
“The argument of the gunmen was that Ebubeagu people ought not to enter Anambra State when there are people controlling the area.
”The incident happened at the village called Umuojimaka in Akwa and when the shooting became so much, the family took back the corpse to the mortuary. No new date has been fixed for the burial.”
Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Tochukwu Ikenga, said he was yet to receive a report about the Ihiala incidents.
Only recently in the same Ihiala, some hoodlums set ablaze a mansion close to Aforigwe market in Ubahuekwem village for allegedly inviting the police after the man had paid the gunmen to provide security for him during a ceremony in his compound.
As of the time of filing this report, the state police spokesman had yet to respond to a message sent to his phone line for reaction.