Reports from the Abia North part of the state have it that some persons identified as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have been killed by soldiers attached to the 14 Brigade Army Headquarters, Ohafia LGA.
Unconfirmed reports have it that five people suspected to be IPOB members were feared killed in the melee between the soldiers and IPOB members.
The incident was said to have happened on Thursday during the sit-at-home order of the IPOB as their leader, Nnamdi Kanu was arraigned in court in Abuja for the continuation of his trial.
Although the incident that led to the shooting has not been made official, however a local source said immediately news got to the area that Nnamdi Kanu was brought to court in Abuja yesterday to face trial, some members of IPOB in the area took to the streets to jubilate.
The source said the IPOB members were jubilating that contrary to reports they had been getting about the safety of their leader, that Kanu was still alive.
It was gathered that on getting to a point within the First Bank axis of the town, the IPOB members were confronted by soldiers who attempted to disperse them.
Unconfirmed reports said while the soldiers were engaging the IPOB members who were in a procession, trouble ensued and in the process, five members of the pro Biafra group were shot dead.
This was said to have caused pandemonium in Arochukwu, as residents scampered for Safety over fear of reprisal from the group.
Some residents were said to have taken refuge inside the bush to avoid being victims of the onslaught.
By the time of filing the report, the Arochukwu Eze-in-Council was said to be meeting over the incident.
When contacted, the Army Public Relations Officer (APRO) for 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Lt Omale promised to contact the officer in-charge of soldiers in Arochukwu and get and call back, but failed to call back as he had promised.
But Abia State Command of the Nigeria Police Force confirmed the killing of some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Arochukwu by soldiers.
Confirming the incident however, Abia state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Janet Agbede said it was three IPOB members that were killed.
According to the CP in a statement, members of the pro Biafra group numbering about 50 had attacked the soldiers with guns and machetes.
“The soldiers made a counter attack and three of the hoodlums were neutralized during the exchange of firing.
“The superior firing power of the soldiers made the hoodlums disperse. As of now, effort has been intensified to track down the fleeing hoodlums.”
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She urged members of the public to report anyone with a bullet wound to the nearest Police station or any law enforcement agent.