Gunmen suspected to be members of a cult group on Saturday invaded and killed 19 persons in Aluu community in Ikwerre Local Government Area and Obite community in Etche Area Council, all in Rivers State.
It was gathered that two cult groups stormed the communities and engaged each other in a free for all.
Gunmen, said to be members of the Greenlanders cult group, invaded Aluu in reprisal against a rival group, Icelanders and left 15 persons dead, including a nursing mother.
A naval personnel, who was among the Joint Task Force, JTF, team that went to the area to bring the situation under control, was hit by a bullet from the cultists.
Punch Newspaper reports that the cult members killed some innocent persons in the process and left several others with bullet wounds.
Also some members of the cult group (Greenlanders) stormed Omuodo and Omuahunwo villages in Etche Area Council and killed four of their victims suspected to be rival cultists.
The incident left the residents of the area in anxiety as some people in the affected communities fled their homes.
A source who craved anonymity said, “Some cult members believed to be members of Greenlanders entered the community and killed some people.
“The boys operated in a very terrible manner. They went to a supermarket where people usually go to buy something and opened fire on over six people.
“Some people narrowly escaped with gun wounds. We do not know the cause of the killings, although we suspected that it is a cult war.’’
“At the moment, people are running away and nobody knows who is who. The cult boys entered the community by 8am and started shooting the people they described as their enemies.”
The Caretaker Chairman of Ikwerre Area Council, Samuel Nwanosike, stated that the reports about the incident were overblown.
Nwanosike stressed that the government had swiftly responded to the situation and restored normalcy in the area.
The council chairman, who visited the area with some security personnel, stated that the bandits had been chased out of the community.