By Jude Michael
Six people have been reportedly killed in a renewed clash between the people of the Omor and Anaku communities in the Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State, with one person missing. The latest outbreak of hostilities is coming barely a year after the last one, which claimed the lives of two policemen in Anaku.
Also, houses were set ablaze and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted as landmines waiting to be detonated at any time.
A native of Omor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, narrated that in the early hours of Monday, a native of Anaku he simply identified as “Vulture” invaded their community through Ezi-Eke with his gang members and killed five persons in the town.
He said that the victims included three natives and two non-natives. While he identified one of the non-natives as a commercial tricycle rider and an indigene of neighbouring Umuerum, the second victim, according to the source, hailed from a town in the neighbouring Enugu State.
The source stated further that the three natives of the community killed included two women, one of whom, he said, was in her compound very early in the morning preparing breakfast for her family.
He also said that the other victims were killed along the road on their way to their early morning activities.
The source said, “We don’t know what prompted the attack, but some elders of our community have been advised to go and report to the police.
“Vulture and his gang invaded our community between 4.30 a.m. and 5 a.m. today (Monday). We heard that some of those he came with were hiding in the bushes while he was the person that did some of the killings.”
But another source in Anaku, who also requested anonymity, accused the people of Omor of invading their community and planting explosives to harm them.
The source said that two persons who claimed that they were being sponsored by the people of Omor to launch the attack on Anaku had already been arrested by the town’s vigilante operatives and handed over to the police at Anaku Police Station.
He gave the names of the two persons as one Ilommaduaburochi, a native of Ihembosi in the Nnewi South LGA of the state, and Amaechi Okoye. He said that, already, the suspects had killed a woman in Anaku and kidnapped a boy.
He also said that some houses were set ablaze in their community and that both Ilommaduaburochi and Amaechi Okoye had already given men of the Anaku vigilante group names of Omor people who were sponsoring them, adding that the duo had already been handed over to the police at Anaku Police Station.
When contacted, a spokesman of the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed the renewed communal war between the two communities and said that a combined police and military team had been deployed to the area.
He however did not confirm the casualty figure but simply said that the Command had mounted heavy security watch on the communities, and added that more information would be provided in due course.