*set three vehicles ablaze
From Chuks Collins, Awka
There seems not to be any reprieve yet from the flash-like operations of the usually heavily armed masked men who have come to be known in local parlance as the ‘Unknown Gun Men’ (UGM).
They struck again at the popular Ekeagu Abatete market intersection in Idemili North Council of Anambra state few hours ago.
Though it was unclear the number of vehicles they arrived with, but they left three persons suspected to be police officers dead, three vehicle burnt and yet another vehicle with its interior contents scattered.
An eye witness account told reporters who arrived the location shortly after they drove off in flashlight fashion that they wore black masks, dressed in all black jeans trousers and t-shirts.
Witnesses also noted that they sounded kind and humane on arrival when they told visibly agitated bystanders to go about their businesses peacefully, that they didn’t come for them.
But all that changed after they set one of the vehicles they arrived with, a Honda Ridgeline double cabin pick-up, on fire and were about driving off.
A three-vehicle convoy that suddenly arrived the scene from Ideani end of the intersection quickly caught their attention. That was when the nozzles of their guns roared again and again, and again, the eyewitnesses noted.
The local vigilante operatives were said to have stormed the scene few minutes after, because “we heard the gunshots and rushed to investigate”, one of them stated.
They quickly evacuated two of the victims who were still breathing to hospital.
The UGM were said to have set the Honda pickup which was among the vehicles they came with on fire, set two others including a police patrol vehicle recently donated by the Anambra state government on fire too. In fact one of the killed policemen was completely burnt under the patrol vehicle. It was only the Sienna van that was not torched.
See video below:
At that point when the guns started blazing and bullets started ringing out, all hell were reportedly let loose and the entire crowded Ekeagu Abatete area became a theatre of confusion as people started running in all directions without waiting to know what was happening or to think of where they were actually running to!
Nursing mothers, shops, retailers, keke operators, Okada riders, their passengers and potential passengers, shoppers, roasted corn sellers by the roadsides, fruits sellers, POS operators, commuter buses, dry cleaners, etc all ran away.
Some even forgot to lockup their shops and places of business. They were simply dazed. The UGM are still with us. They have struck again. This time, at Abatete, Idemili North council of Anambra State.