At least two people killed
At least two people were killed and several houses and business premises destroyed when troops of the Nigerian Army invaded Orsu-ihiteukwa, Awo-idemili, and Eziawa communities in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria’s South-East. Residents told NOHR that the troops operating in armored vehicles, and helicopter gunships opened fire on residents Friday morning.
NOHR learned that many residents had fled the community following the attack which started at about 5 am on Friday. NOHR received several photos and videos showing the aftermath of the attack. In the videos, residents could be seen wailing while inspecting their destroyed homes and business premises. A military helicopter was seen hovering over the community in another video. A dead body of a young man identified as Ifeanyi Edurumba, an orphan from Umuawa, Uruala village in Eziawa Community was also seen in a separate video. He was allegedly killed during the military attack. One resident who spoke to NOHR said, “Today, the military yet again invaded my community Orsu-ihiteukwa and some neighboring communities like Awo-Idemili and Eziawa including Anambra State neighboring communities like Lilu and Orsumoghu both in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State as early as 5 am and carried out heavy shootings and bombardment, they went to my community market called Ekeututu International Market and set ablaze over 40 shops thereby destroying the source of livelihood of many people”.
“Just barely three weeks ago, precisely on the 30th of August 2022, they carried out an operation that took the lives of three persons, one of whom was my kinsman with his boss and a friend. They were at a block industry site where they were molding blocks along Ekeututu Ihitenansa road in Ekeututu market. The third victim was an old man in his seventies who ran an electrical shop in the Ekeututu market. They accosted his shop as he could not run away for safety during the invasion but when they saw he was an old man, they shot him on both legs and abandoned him in front of his shop. He died hours later”.
“The army tagged my kinsman and his boss as IPOB and Eastern Security Network ( ESN) members who are planting IEDs and also possess rocket launchers. This is most unfortunate as there was no truth in that allegation”.
Orsu local government area communities have witnessed a series of army and police bombardments since 2001 following the presence of ESN/IPOB militants in the communities.
On 30th August 2022, Military spokesman Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu told newsmen that soldiers from 34 Artillery Brigade, alongside the Nigerian Navy, Air Force, and other security agencies killed two members of ESN while on a raid operation along Eke Ututu – Ihitte Nansa road in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State. The Army spokesman said the soldiers recovered several Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) planted along the road and locally fabricated rocket launchers during the operations.
The military spokesman said that Eke Ututu market has become a flash point as dissidents often ambush troops using explosives and firearms from within and around the market, while troops are on routine patrol.
The army authorities have not commented on the latest round of attack which left several buildings burnt and at least one civilian dead.