On Friday, police in Anambra State verified a battle between two criminal groups in the state’s Ihiala LGA.
A popular video on social media showed a procession of varied automobiles with rifle-wielding young men transporting several dead bodies.
The Anambra State Police Command, through its spokesperson, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, responded to the video by saying the two gangs battled at a funeral ceremony while trying to collect levy from the deceased’s relatives in order for the burial to go place.
Ikenga said: “We have reinforced Ihiala and its environs following a trending video of SUVs and Hilux vehicles carrying young men that were welding arms to an unidentified location.
“Information from eyewitnesses show that a violent clash ensued between two criminal gangs and further details confirmed the killing of one Innocent Obieke AKA Double Lion and three others.
“Double Lion has been on police wanted list and has featured in attacks on police formations, military locations and other government infrastructure.
“Meanwhile, police patrol is ongoing in the area and the situation is being monitored.”
Sources in Ihiala, however, said that the clash was between criminals known as unknown gunmen and members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
“The eyewitness said: “It is true. 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 terrorizing 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 organized. 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 a shootout. IPOB operatives loaded the corpses in a Hilux van and paraded them around the villages,” the source said.
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