Four persons suspected to be members of cult groups were killed by soldiers on Tuesday in Oboburu community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The cult members were said to have engaged the soldiers in a shootout that lasted for several hours, with indigenes of the community fleeing their homes to avoid being c@ught in the crossfire.
The cult members were said to have camped in Oboburu, which is the second largest community in Egiland, harassing and intimidating people.
It was gathered that the soldiers were deployed in the area after reports of cult activities in the community got to the 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt.
One of the women leaders in Oboburu said that while three of those hit by the soldiers’ bullets were cultists, the fourth person was a law abiding indigene of the community hit by a stray bullet.
She added that one person, who was seriously injured during the shootout, was rushed to the hospital.
“The bad boys most times wear military camouflage and have been terrorising the people in the community. I think the soldiers heard about the situation in Oboburu and decided to come here.
“They came in on Tuesday and the shooting was so much that even the innocent ones left Oboburu and ran to for safety in nearby villages. Before the soldiers came, there was a notorious armed group that camped in the place.
“Even the VIPs (very important personalities) from this community have all left because of the bad boys. The ordinary people began to pack their things and left during the shootout on Tuesday,” the woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
When contacted, the Assistant Army Public Relations Officer of 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Captain Eli Lazarus, confirmed the incident, adding that the operation by soldier was still ongoing in the community.
Lazarus, however, said he could not confirm the number of those killed or injured.