Dozens of gunmen on Thursday set ablaze several houses in Izombe, Oguta Local Government area of Imo state. Eye eyewitnesses told NOHR that gunmen, suspected to be operatives of Ebubeagu, arrived in the community in about 10 security vehicles. They invaded sections around the Central Market, Umuaka, and Eziama at about 5 pm on Thursday and proceeded to burn down several houses and shops. The reason for the attack is not yet clear. Witness reported that the community is currently deserted as many residents have fled for their lives.
“ We are still in the bush and they are still burning houses and shops,” a 48-year-old man told NOHR
The Community has witnessed several invasions by gunmen as well as security forces in the last year leading to the burning and looting of shops, as well as the killing and maiming of innocent persons. On 6 August 2022, gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra/Eastern Security Network (ESN) clashed with the police at the Agwa Police Divisional headquarters in Oguta council leading to several casualties. In response, villagers said police operatives allegedly burnt down some buildings and set two vehicles ablaze in Aborshi and Umunwama autonomous communities respectively.
The villagers also accused soldiers of burning or destroying more than 150 buildings in Umuokwu, Umuorji, and Ndioko villages all in Aborshi Izombe in October 2021 over an internal community dispute.