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One week after Ozubulu killings, two shot dead near Onitsha church

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-Gunmen cause panic for worshippers in Onitsha, Anambra State.

-Policeman shot and rifle taken away by hoodlums.

Barely a week after the deadly gun attack on worshippers at St. Phillips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State, in which 13 people lost their lives and many others left injured, another gun attack has been reported at the Assemblies of God Church in Onitsha, Anambra State.

The attack caused panic among worshippers of Assemblies of God Church, Oguta Road, Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, as gunmen shot dead a policeman and civilian at a checkpoint located close to the church.

As reported by Vanguard news, an eyewitness said the gunmen had stopped near the church, adding that on sighting some policemen at the church, they opened fire on them.

However, the source said the attackers, after killing one of the policemen, also took away his rifle.

It was learned that though the attack was not directly targeted at the church, the persistent shooting created among worshipers in the church.

“When the firing became too hot, the policemen abandoned their patrol vehicle and ran away for safety.

“The gunmen moved to their patrol van and took a gun belonging to the policeman they killed,” said the eyewitness, who claimed he could not identify the number of armed men involved in the attack.

Another eyewitness said the gunmen on motorcycle shot a policeman and took his gun, adding that they also shot dead an okada man while making their escape injuring the okadaman’s passenger in the process.

He said the policemen were attacked as they provided security while church service was in progress.

However, reacting to the attack, spokesperson of Anambra State Police Command, ASP Nkiruka Nwode, said there was no shooting in any church, explaining that what transpired was merely a confrontation between some policemen on patrol along Oguta Road and hoodlums in masquerade outfit.

She said in a statement issued by the command: “I have the authority of the Commissioner of Police, Garba Baba Umar, to intimate you on the incident that happened today (yesterday) at Oguta Road, Onitsha.

“At about 1030 hrs, gunmen in disguise as masquerades attacked policemen on foot patrol, and opened fire on them. The team of policemen responded swiftly and arrested one, while others on the run are being trailed and would soon be apprehended.

“Unfortunately, one of the policemen was critically injured and has since been taken to the hospital for proper medical care.

“CP Garba warns perpetrators and would-be perpetrators to desist from acts of crime as the command will not hesitate to deal with anyone found committing any act of crime in Anambra State, in accordance with the provisions of the law.

“He also advised parents to restrain their children and wards from engaging in acts capable of ruining their future.

“The commissioner, while imploring Ndi Anambra to assist the police in its responsibilities of safeguarding the state by reporting suspicious movements in their localities promptly, promised that the command will not relent in its drive till all criminals relocate from the state.”

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Umar, who also confirmed the incident to journalists, said it was not an attack on the church, adding that the gunmen took away a rifle belonging to the slain cop.

“My men were on patrol near the church when they were attacked by some gunmen. It was not an attack on the church in the real sense of it,” he said.

Source: Naija News

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