Soldiers of 14 Brigade, Army Headquarters, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Barracks, who invaded Ohafia in the Ohafia Local Government of Abia State in search of gunmen suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), have burnt down several houses in the area.
A source who spoke with SaharaReporters on Sunday said a lot of residents and indigenes of Elu, Amangwu, Ebem and Ohafia fled their communities to neighbouring villages due to the constant invasion.
Seven soldiers have now lost their lives in the attack, the source said.
According to him, some unknown gunmen were passing through the Amangwu village when soldiers from the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Barracks launched an attack.
He stated that in the counter-attack, two soldiers got injured while the unknown gunmen fled.
Infuriated, a mass of soldiers from the barracks invaded the town, shooting at people, and burning down houses.
Provoked, residents and indigenes who could no longer bear the constant attacks, shot back and this has led to the death of seven soldiers.
The source said, “Some unknown gunmen, we don’t know who they are or where they are coming from, they were passing through Amangwu and they were confronted by soldiers from the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Barracks. Two of the soldiers later got injured and were rushed to the hospital.
“But the soldiers went to regroup and came back en masse. They started harassing people in the community, most especially young men. They arrested a lot of young men, they took them to the barracks.
“They also come from time to time to shoot at people, I mean direct shooting so the people had to retaliate. At first, three soldiers died, then four of them died yesterday, making seven. The other two that were attacked by the gunmen were not even killed, they got injured.
“We don’t know why the soldiers keep invading Amangwu, the gunmen are not from here, they just passed through this place. Soldiers should leave Amangwu and its people alone.”
He also stated that a lot of houses in the Amangwu Ohafia community had been burnt.
The soldiers had claimed that members of the ESN were using the houses as their hideout.