Soldiers Set Community On Fire Over Death Of Colleagues

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Soldiers from the 144 Battalion, Asa, Ukwa West council, Abia State, are said to have stormed the Owaza community and set fire to houses and shops in protest of the death of their comrades.

Gunmen had previously killed two soldiers near the communities of Owaza and Obibor and fled with their rifles, according to reports.

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They also allegedly set fire to the soldiers’ patrol van.

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According to sources, the clash erupted as a result of Rivers State’s oil bunkering ban.

“We heard the soldiers’ problem was related to the oil bunkering.” The oil thieves have been affected by the ban on oil bunkering in Rivers State; they are uneasy with the soldiers on the Owaza-Obibor road. They attacked the soldiers, killing two of them and fleeing with the rest.

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“In retaliation, the soldiers besieged Owaza and set fire to the community’s homes. Soldiers took over Owaza and the surrounding areas of Obuzor Asa, Umudobia to Obehie, Uzuaku, Okohia to Owaza after torching houses in Owaza. According to the sources, “the people of Owaza have been made to suffer because of what they don’t know.”

Even before the arrival of the rampaging soldiers, residents are said to have fled the area, with some relocating to Obehie, Imo Gate, and Ugwunago.

Prince Omale, the Public Relations Officer of the 14 Brigade in Ohafia, said he had not yet been briefed on the incident, but a military official in the state said an investigation had begun.

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Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has called a meeting of stakeholders from the Ukwa West Local Government Area (LGA), urging all parties to give peace a chance and allow the state government to resolve the issue.

As the government continues to engage the Army authorities on the matter, Ikpeazu urged the stakeholders not to allow the situation to deteriorate.

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