Nigerian Soldiers

Operatives of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, on Saturday, engaged a group of armed men suspected to be cult members in a gun duel, killing two in the process.

The gunmen were said to have blocked a major highway in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.

It was learnt the hoodlums shot sporadically into the air, a development that stopped motorists and passersby from going close to the point where they (gunmen) were gathered.

But the swift intervention of men of the 2 Brigade later brought sanity to the place as they engaged the gunmen in a shootout.

A statement signed by the spokesman of the 2 Brigade, Captain Eli Lazarus, confirmed the death of two persons, adding that security operatives were ensured the reopening of the road.

According to Lazarus, "A group of gunmen attacked Tai LGA of Rivers State at about 9am today blocking the major highway. The gunmen shot sporadically and harassed innocent motorists.

"The unfortunate incident led to the death of two persons. Troops of 2 Brigade promptly intervened by engaging the gunmen and reopening the road."

Lazarus disclosed that one AK 47 rifle, one FN rifle, one G3 rifle and three Dane guns were recovered from the scene of the shootout.

"Also recovered were two AK 47 magazines, one FN magazine, two G3 magazines, one saw and 180 rounds of assorted ammunition," he added.

The 2 Brigade spokesman also disclosed that some of the gunmen escaped with gunshot wounds and called on members of the public to report to the nearest security agencies upon seeing any person with gunshot injuries.

"Law abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their lawful activities as normalcy has been restored in Tai Local Government Area.

"The public is equally reminded to continue to provide security agencies with useful information to combat crime," Lazarus said.

Meanwhile, for the second time in one week, the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, led security agencies to supervise the demolition of hideouts of notorious cult groups and kidnappers in the state.

Wike was at the Eagles Island in Port Harcourt on Saturday with the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo, to comb the hideouts of cultists and kidnappers operating in the state.

The governor and Adebanjo supervised the demolition of two deadly cultists' camps in the area in the continued war against cultism and kidnapping.

One of the camps is located behind a Redeemed Church while the other hideout used by the cult members and kidnappers is known as Andoni Camp.

Wike promised that a police station would be built at the cultists' camp behind the church and a community hospital sited at the demolished Andoni Camp.

Speaking with journalists after the exercise, the governor said the entire cultists' hideouts in the area would be demolished to allow law-abiding residents live peacefully.

He vowed that the war against cultists and kidnappers would be sustained to ensure that people carried out their legitimate businesses without molestation.

The governor also called on residents to always avail security agencies the necessary information on the hideouts of criminals for action to be taken against them.

Before Saturday's exercise, the governor and security agencies oversaw the demolition of a building owned by a notorious cult member in the state, Munachim Ihunwo, who had been arrested by the police.

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